NEW DELHI: The government is likely to approve the reserve price for 5G spectrum in the next few days.
According to sources, chances are high that the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) would favour the building of captive 5G networks for businesses and enterprises.
People familiar with the development said private networks can be set up in smart factories, hospitals, educational institutes, ports, airports and hotels. “We will soon come up on the 5G spectrum in the next cabinet briefing,” said Anurag Thakur, information and broadcasting minister.
The much-awaited 5G spectrum auction, which according to telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, was slated to take place in the first half of June, is being delayed. Many believe the ongoing tussle between telecom operators and private enterprises over the captive 5G network is the reason for the delay.
Telecom service providers (TSPs) urged the government not to provide 5G spectrums directly to the private enterprises as it will cause huge loss to the exchequer and also lead to sub-optimal utilisation of this scarce resource. However, the private enterprises refuted such claims and said it (captive 5G network) will in-fact become an additional source of revenue for the government.
Broadband India Forum (BIF), which has members like CISCO, Amazon, Microsoft and Intel, said there would be no revenue loss to the government on account of direct spectrum allocation as the private enterprises will purchase the spectrum at a price to be fixed by the government. Thus, DoT seems to be in favour of having private 5G networks. This step of DoT will allow big tech companies such as Google, Amazon, TCS and Cisco in building captive 5G networks for businesses and enterprises.