The rollout of the 5G spectrum is expected to start in October, and within a year or two, should have a significant presence in the country, said Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday.
In his media interaction on ‘Indian 5G Opportunity’, the Union Minister thanked the telecom industry for great response to the recently held 5G spectrum auction. “5G services rollout will happen in October beginning, spectrum auctions will be completed in next 2-3 days, soon afterwards, spectrum allocation will happen, we have already told industry that they should act fast after allocation in order to do the set-up and roll out services soon, this is the type of planning which is going on now,” he said.
‘’The 5G spectrum auction is doing well shows that the industry is taking off, the results are very good, close to Rs 1.49 lakh crore has been committed by the industry for buying spectrum, this shows how the sector is maturing in a very nice way,” said Vaishnaw.
He further added, ‘’On the one hand, we reduced the reserve price, on the other hand, we also reduced the Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC); this was a significant change which ensured good response. Secondly, the payment terms have been changed. There was a huge upfront payment which had to be paid in earlier auctions, now the entire amount can be paid in 20 installments, which reduces pressure on payment and enables operators to focus on enhancing reach of the network. Thirdly, bank guarantee which used to be huge and which was a significant cost burden has been done away with.”
As regards to the pricing of 5G services, Vaishnaw said that, on an average in the world, the cost of telecom services is Rs 2,400 while it is around Rs 200 per month in India. Data cost is the lowest in India in the world. The Minister further added that we will probably buck the global trend and have a much faster rollout of 5G compared to many other geographies since our other costs are significantly under control. BSNL will also, as a market balancer, roll out its 5G very rapidly.
“We believe that we will probably buck the trend of having a much faster rollout of 5G compared to many other geographies since our other costs are significantly under control. BSNL will also, as a market balancer, roll out its 5G very rapidly, with these things in place, we think that we are in good position and the results will show as they have shown in the past,” said the Union Minister.