Indian telecom service providers have asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) for an extension of 1 year for performing the ongoing 5G trials. This includes the telecom players including Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone-Idea whose permission for conducting the trials would end on November 26.
The DoT has nodded for the first phase of 5G trials earlier in May this year with a period of six months. For this purpose, the government has then distributed the 5G spectrum to the telecom operators. The allocated bandwidths include 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands for different locations. The DoT has also commenced drafting the basic cost of 5G service in the suggestions of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Telecom Operators Request for Extension
It seems that the 5G adoption in India will still take more time than anticipated. As the telcos are now requesting DoT for a further extension of one year for conducting trials citing the lack of infrastructure and ecosystem partners.
An industry expert told Economics Times, “Ecosystem partners are essential to the true success of trials. And telcos are facing various challenges about the readiness of various ecosystem partners”. Also, few reports suggest that this buffer time will allow the operators to purchase network equipment.
Originally, the central government of India was scheduled to hold the 5G spectrum auction in the January-March quarter of 2022. But a year extension in the trials will ultimately result in a delay in the launch of the 5G network in the country. Also, leading mobile makers have launched plenty of 5G smartphones in the country at various price points for faster 5G adoption. But the actual 5G network is likely to take some more time, it seems.
Let us know in the comments below what you think about the arrival of the 5G network in India.