India to Broaden the Spectrum with 5G: 10X Faster Than 4G, Ease of Biz, AI Push, Here’s What It Means

 India to Broaden the Spectrum with 5G: 10X Faster Than 4G, Ease of Biz, AI Push, Here’s What It Means

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a proposal of the Department of Telecommunications to conduct an auction through which spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for providing 5G services to public and enterprises.

Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said: “Moving forward with PM Narendra Modi ji’s vision of a Digital India. Spectrum auction announced today is an integral part of developing Bharat Ka 5G ecosystem.”

Here’s all you need to know:

  1. VALID FOR 20 YEARS: A total of 72097.85 MHz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put to auction to be held by the end of July. 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.
  2. 10 TIMES FASTER THAN 4G: Mid- and High-band spectrum will be utilised by telecom service providers to roll out 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities which would be about 10 times higher than the current 4G services.
  3. TEST BED in 8 INSTITUTES: The 5G test bed set up in eight top technology institutes of India has expedited the launch of domestic 5G technology in India. The Production-Linked Incentives (PLI) schemes for mobile handsets, telecom equipment and the launch of the India Semiconductor Mission will help build a strong ecosystem for the launch of 5G services.
  4. THE REFORMS: The Telecom Sector Reforms announced in September 2021 will help. The reforms include zero Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) on the spectrum acquired in the upcoming auction, providing a significant relief to the service providers in terms of the operating cost of telecom networks. Further, the requirement of submitting a financial bank guarantee equivalent to one annual instalment has also been done away with.
  5. EASE OF BIZ: In a first, there is no mandatory requirement to make upfront payment for successful bidders. Payments for spectrum can be made in 20 equal annual instalments to be paid in advance at the beginning of each year. This is expected to significantly ease cash flow requirements and lower the cost of doing business in this sector. The bidders would be given an option to surrender the spectrum after 10 years with no future liabilities with respect to balance instalments.
  6. BACKHAUL: To meet the backhaul demand, the Cabinet has decided to provisionally allot 2 carriers of 250 MHz each in E-band to the telecom service providers. The Cabinet has also decided to double the number of traditional Microwave backhaul carriers in the existing frequency bands of 13, 15, 18 and 21 GHz bands.
  7. PRIVATE CAPTIVE NETWORKS: The Cabinet will enable the development and setting up of Private Captive 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.

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