Govt shouldn’t delay allocating 5G spectrum to private enterprises: BIF

Earlier, the ministry, in a notification, decided to allocate captive 5G networks for private enterprises. 

Published: 28th June 2022 07:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2022 07:48 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only.

Image for representational purpose only.

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A group of private enterprises on Monday urged the telecom ministry not to delay allocation of 5G spectrum to private enterprises saying it would impact the industry and give telecom service providers (TSPs) undue advantage. 

Broadband India Forum (BIF), which has members like CISCO, Amazon, Microsoft and Intel, said policy guidelines for captive private 5G networks must be implemented in letter and spirit of the Union Cabinet’s decision. Also, the government must prevent distortion of competition and undue advantage to certain industries, it said. 

Earlier, the ministry, in a notification, decided to allocate captive 5G networks for private enterprises. 
However, telecom operators are against the decision and have requested the government not to provide direct spectrum to these tech giants. The telecom operators are of the view that this move will hurt their business.

“Based on some of the media reports, it is understood that the government is initially considering to include only the framework for enterprises to set up private 5G networks in partnership with telecom operators, by taking spectrum on lease or by getting their networks built by them,” said BIF in a statement.

The forum further said such an action, if taken, would provide a regulatory advantage to one side, more so since that side is already overly strong and has the advantages of huge external market power of an incumbent network, which directly impacts the businesses of the weak non-telecom vertical players, i.e. enterprises. 

“If the media reports are taken to be true, these guidelines would distort competition and go against the essence of the Cabinet decision as well as the NIA dated June 15, 2022, wherein there was no indication that the options for incumbents to offer these services first were to be facilitated,” said TV Ramachandran, president of BIF.

The forum is of the view that the move will create differences in the system at the very beginning and it would also lead to uncertainty and a Hobson’s choice for the enterprises for setting up their CNPNs.  

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