India to conduct 5G spectrum auction in July

India will conduct 5G spectrum auction in July and operators such as Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea will be stepping up their Capex.
5G base station USIndia Government on June 15 approved the telecom department’s proposal to conduct 5G spectrum auction and offer 5G spectrum to telecom operators and enterprises.

India aims to sell 72097.85 MHz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years during the auction to be held by the end of July, 2022. The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and High (26 GHz) frequency bands.

It is expected that the Mid and High band spectrum will be utilized by Telecom Service Providers to roll-out of 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities which would be about 10 times higher than what is possible through the current 4G services.

For the first time ever, there is no mandatory requirement to make upfront payment by the bidders. Payments for spectrum can be made in 20 annual installments to be paid in advance at the beginning of each year.

The bidders would be given an option to surrender the spectrum after 10 years with no future liabilities with respect to balance installments.

India has also decided to provisionally allot two carriers of 250 MHz each in E-band to telecom service providers to meet the backhaul demand. India Cabinet also decided to double the number of traditional microwave backhaul carriers in the existing frequency bands of 13, 15, 18 and 21 GHz bands.

India also decided to enable the development and setting up of private networks to spur a new wave of innovations in Industry 4.0 applications such as machine to machine communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) across automotive, healthcare, agriculture, energy, and other sectors.

Investment in 5G network will create new business opportunities for telecom network firms such as Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson, ZTE, Samsung, Cisco, among others.