5G spectrum auction and roll out in next fiscal year: India’s FM

India’s Finance Minister announced that the auctions for 5G spectrum and roll out will happen in the fiscal year 2022-23.
Verizon 5G network
The delay in the 5G spectrum auction and network roll outs will be a major setback for telecom network makers such as Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, Cisco, ZTE, among others.

Major chipset makers such as MediaTek, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, among others, were expecting the roll out of 5G in India.

COMMENTS

SP Kochhar, Director General of COAI

The Union Budget of the year 2022-23 is pro-growth with emphasis on providing further impetus to the Digital India initiative. We are glad to see the focus on the enhancement of digital connectivity and the announcement for the required spectrum auction in 2022 for the rollout of 5G mobile services. The proposal for taking progressive decisions in encouraging affordable broadband and mobile services through facilitating PLI scheme for 5G equipment, laying optical fiber cables through PPP model under BharatNet project are welcome steps.

Sanjay Gupta, Vice President and India Managing Director, NXP Semiconductors

The scheme for design led manufacturing to be launched for 5G ecosystem as part of PLI will be a boost to the overall telecom and electronic sectors. It will also provide and promote research and development of technology and solutions and will enable affordable broadband and mobile communication.

Nitin Bansal, MD, India & Head-Networks – Southeast Asia, Oceania, and India at Ericsson

We are pleased that the budget for 2022 seeks to leverage technology for enabling the next phase of sustainable socio-economic development of the nation with the use of drones for land surveys and crop assessments, the introduction of digital currency, infrastructure status to data centers, e-content delivery, and e-passports. Apart from this, the announcement of the DESL stack portal to upskill Indian youth as per industry needs will help to fill the talent and skill gap. From a telecom sector perspective, FM’s announcement around the 5G spectrum auction, 100 percent fiberisation with PPP model will provide the required impetus to build upon ubiquitous and reliable internet connectivity. Thereby, bridging the digital divide for a conducive and inclusive development of the nation in keeping with the ‘Digital India’ initiative. Further, design-led initiatives for 5G under the PLI scheme and 5% of USOF for R&D purposes will strengthen  the ‘Make in India’ initiative, and contribute to making India a global manufacturing hub.

Peeyush Vaish, Partner and Telecom Sector Leader, Deloitte India

The roll-out across the country will happen much faster than other previous generation roll-outs considering the fact that the FM, in her speech has also talked about fiberisation of all villages by 2025. Focus on digital education including digital universities will push the need for high speed broadband across the country. While the details of the PLI for design led manufacturing in the 5G space are awaited, it could be broadened beyond manufacturers to the TSPs and telecom infrastructure players. The USO funds have historically been used for the rural infrastructure roll-out. A 5 percent allocation towards R&D and commercialization of the technology could help some of the indigenous niche players building up technologies around O-RAN and Private networks.

PN Sudarshan, Partner and TMT Industry Leader, Deloitte India  

The digitization theme is being carried forward and will be the backbone for investments in education, healthcare, agriculture, banking, payments, and also to streamline government  procurement & payments. Announcement for deep tech / sunrise sectors in terms of policy support, light touch regulations, funding support etc seems seminal. 5G spectrum auction and the emphasis on optic fibre augurs well for B2B, B2C and G2C initiatives.

Amarjeet Singh, Partner and National Lead, Emerging Giants and Startups, KPMG in India

The PLI scheme on 5G and commitment on auction of spectrum will have huge impact on the nature, quality and number of startups which will use this technology to upgrade customer/ supplier interactions. New business models will arise and India will take lead in them faster than the west.

Arvind Sharma, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

The FMs vision on design led manufacturing for 5G ecosystem as part of PLI scheme and measures for setting up a strong 5G infrastructure is promising and has huge potential for growth in the telecom sector. The PPP model to be used for firming up the 5G infrastructure will enable leveraging on the strength of private – public partnerships. The launch of spectrum auction and scale at which optic fiber network is intended to be expanded is laudable.

Sampath Kumar Venkataswamy , Senior Research Manager for IDC Manufacturing Insights

The concessions and incentives for manufacturing targeting 5G ecosystem is a positive move and is in the right direction for developing and bring the value chain in-house. The opportunity will ensure a renewed focus on smart phones and network gateways that would support 5G technologies. The presence of a local ecosystem will also ensure increased adoption of 5G-led secure use cases which typically require higher bandwidths and lower latencies such as industrial automation controls, remote monitoring technologies such as AR/VR, shopfloor technologies such as manufacturing execution systems (MES), warehouse control systems (WCS) and so on. Phased manufacturing program (PMP) has already accelerated the development of smart phone components and sub-systems in India and the latest incentive structure will evolve in a similar trajectory.

Mahendra Nahata, MD, HFCL 

The PLI scheme in 14 sectors has already received excellent response and has the potential to create 60 lakh new jobs, and an additional production of Rs 30 lakh crore during the next 5 years. 5G spectrum auctions will be conducted in 2022 to facilitate rollout of 5G mobile services within FY23 by private telecom providers. We believe that the expected spectrum rollout for 5G in 2022, combined with a scheme for design led manufacturing for 5G equipment under the PLI scheme will not only lead to advancement in the sector, but will also help to create employment opportunities.

David Li, CEO, Huawei India

The budget provides for digital enablement for all sectors from digital education, digital university, telehealth, and digital banking, among others. It also looks at boosting the economy with provisions for the start-up ecosystem, infra, clean energy. The focus on skilling, digital learning and clean mobility will create opportunities for Indian youth and will also go a great way in addressing the skill gap in various industries leading for an inclusive development.

Ankit Agarwal, MD, STL (Sterlite Technologies)

This budget sets the foundation for India’s 5G readiness through spectrum auctions, R&D impetus, USOF allocation along with a boost for domestic manufacturing through a timely Design-led manufacturing scheme. The move to allocate 68 percent of the Defence capital procurement budget for domestic players is also a positive stepping stone towards self-reliance in hi-tech manufacturing.

Arvind Bali, CEO, Telecom Sector Skill Council

The announcement on spectrum auction in 2022 for the rollout of 5G and scheme for design-led manufacturing for 5G ecosystem is likely to uplift human resource requirements significantly and also need to train the existing and new workforce. Rural OFC in villages through BharatNet is also a great opportunity for skilling the rural youth.