Private enterprises will have to initially source 5G spectrum from telecom operators

Private enterprises won't need to pay any entry fee or licensee fee. They just have to pay a one-time non-refundable processing fee of Rs 50000.

Published: 28th June 2022 07:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2022 07:33 PM   |  A+A-

5G

Representational Image. (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Private enterprises will have to wait longer to get direct allocation of 5G spectrum from the government, and initially they will have to source it from Telecom Service Providers (TSPs).

According to the latest detailed guidelines for the Captive Non-Public Network (CNPN), DoT will undertake demand studies and thereafter seek TRAI recommendations for direct assignment of spectrum to such enterprises.

"Enterprises setting up CNNs may obtain the spectrum directly from DoT and establish their own isolated network. The Department of Telecom will undertake demand studies and thereafter seek TRAI recommendations for direct assignment of spectrum to such enterprises," reads the guidelines.

The telecom department, in its guidelines for the Captive Non-Public Network (CNPN) license, also mentioned that enterprises seeking direct assignment of the spectrum from the government need a net worth of Rs 100 crore. Also, as per the guidelines, these private enterprises won't need to pay any entry fee or licensee fee. They just have to pay a one-time non-refundable processing fee of Rs 50000.

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"Steps such as no entry fee, license-term validity of 10 years and one license valid for multiple locations indicate the government is trying to make the process easy and simple. However, keeping eligibility criteria of license applicants to have a minimum net worth of Rs 100 crore would mean only a few large enterprises can benefit from direct 5G spectrum allocation. These would be the enterprises that are ready to bring a whole set of resources, technologies and applications, partners to the table to deploy private networks," said Charu Paliwal, Research Analyst, Counterpoint Research.  

According to the notification, TSPs with access service licenses can provide private networks as a service to an enterprise by using network resources over its PMLN network. They can establish isolated CNPN for the enterprises using the IMT spectrum acquired by them.

This move -- delaying direct allocation of 5G spectrum to private enterprises -- is not liked by industry people. Broadband India Forum (BIF) 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.



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