NEW DELHI: The auction of 5G spectrum will be held on schedule and within the stipulated timeline, said the telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday. The minister, who was speaking on the sidelines of the 2nd national conferences on cyber crime investigation and digital forensics, when asked if 5G auction will be held as per schedule, said “absolutely”.
The minister’s comment came at a time when telecom regulator Trai’s 5G recommendations on spectrum pricing and other nuances, which were widely expected to come by March-end, have been delayed by a few days to early April. The spectrum auctions are slated to be conducted in 2022, to facilitate the rollout of 5G mobile services within 2022-23.
The regulatory body, in November had released a detailed consultation paper to discuss threadbare the modalities for auction of spectrum across multiple bands, including pricing, quantum and other conditions -- preparing the groundwork for upcoming 5G auctions.
TRAI sought comment from the stakeholders for new frequencies such as 526-698 MHz and millimetre band that is 24.25 - 28.5 GHz, in addition to bands like 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, and 3300-3670 MHz. All the three private telecom operators~ Bharati Airtel, Vodafone Idea Limited and Reliance Jio have urged the government to cut the base price of 5G spectrum in the upcoming auction. The 5G trials are conducted by the telecom operators in all major cities.