5G spectrum launch definitely will give a boost to the Indian telecom industry. So all telecom partners like Bharti Airtel, Ambani’s Reliance, Vodafone-Idea and equipment providers like Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung, a wide range of participants are looking forward to 5G spectrum auction.
In the first round of 5G spectrum auction in 2016 sale ended with the government raising almost 66,000 crores. In this sale of 5G spectrum, some spectrum bands failed to pull bids due to high reserve prices.
With the new government taking charge, the DoT (Department of Telecommunication) is looking seriously under this 5G spectrum auction and the auction is expected to be India’s largest so far. DoT may configure this 5G spectrum auction as early as September-October, likely as prices recommended by the regulatory authority. The time limit to start 5G trial is set at 100 days. This 5G spectrum auction will be of 8293.95MHz of airwaves at an estimated total price of Rs. 5.77 lakh crore expected to go in telecom market. This second round auction is 3.5 times the 2354 MHz of spectrum offered at the former 5G spectrum auction in 2016, for which the total base price was Rs. 5.63 lakh crore. The plan for 5G spectrum auction was reportedly approved by DCC (Digital Communication Commission), the highest decision-making body for telecom affairs.
Aruna Sundararajan, Telecom secretary, and DCC Chairperson told that even if all the spectrum is sold at reserve price, the government will net at least Rs. 5.8 trillion.
Since 2016 the telecom industry is facing severe competition as Jio was entered in telecom market. From that point of time, all telecom companies are facing weakened balance sheet, decreasing revenue and earnings and led to consolidation. According to CEO of Bharti Airtel price of 5G spectrum considered by TRAI is totally exorbitant.
Telecom companies have reported the prices suggested by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) are too high. They also draw attention to the high prices in India comparing other countries like South Korea, on a per MHz basis for 5g airwaves.
Now the question is what does the India government look in this 5G spectrum auction? India government is not only trying to increase their revenue generation through this 5G spectrum auction, but they also look after the welfare of rural zone through this programme nd to ensure that telecom services become more inclusive. Central government has taken an initiative to promote digital services in rural areas and it was decided that over 300,000 common service centers (CSC’s) will provide at least two wifi hotspots in 100,000-gram panchayats and high-speed internet to nearby development institutes. To achieve goal of digital services and 5G in rural areas they are also applying PPP (Public Private Partnership) mode.
Under this 5G auction programme, there is also a subsidiary program Bharat net Programme. Government of India also decided to use telecom fiber across India under this Bharat net Programme to provide internet at homes through fiber-to -home-initiative. The fiber is also used to connect towers to access more and more data and voice carrying capacity.