- DoT says auction for spectrum bands for 5G service could be soon
- DoT is in talks with multiple department and ministries who are currently using airwaves needed for 5G technology
- Some services will be needed to be shifted
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) may soon announce spectrum bands which will be necessary for the roll-out of the 5G services, said a government official, today.
It was reported that DoT is in talks with other departments and ministries including Broadcasting and Defence ministries and also the department of space as they are already using some of the airwaves which are considered to be the most efficient for the 5G technology.
At the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2020, K Ramchand, member (technology), DoT, said, “We are in the process of consulting with other users of spectrum, the traditional users like defence, broadcasting ministry and the department of space. With them, we have to sit together and see how spectrum in different bands can be used in a coordinated and shared way”.
Ramchand, during the event, said that the 5G can work on sub-gigahertz (GHz), 600MHz (megahertz), mid and millimetre bands, but the problem is that some of the services are being used by defence and broadcasting ministries and the department of space in the same. The DoT is already consulting with them to assess the feasibility of the services which can be shifted and made available for the 5G auctions.
Ramchand said, “This will take some time but I am sure that, shortly, we will be coming out with the announcement of the bands as well as spectrum auction”.
Secretary at the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), SK Gupta, said that DoT is considering the regulator’s recommendation for auction of spectrum in the 3300-3600 MHz bands for 5G services and added that the Department of Telecommunications could conduct auctions soon.
Speaking at the 4th edition of the IMC, Gupta said, “I hope that the auction will be done very soon. Identification of spectrum in millimetre wave is important to roll out 5G services, we hope to get reference very soon in this regard”.
Gupta added that the Right of Way (RoW) rules and the single-window clearance will play important roles to build up fiberisation, which is very crucial for the implementation of the 5G technology. Gupta said, “Though DoT has already made rules to facilitate RoW permission but the procedure needs to be further simplified and made user friendly”.
The RoW was brought in the year 2016 by the Union Government for the development of the telecom infrastructure has to be eased across the country along with a framework to set up the telecom towers, settle disputes in a time-bound manner, lay fiber cables and also to improve the coordination between the private companies, states and the local bodies.
Even though these rules came out 4 years ago, only 18 states and Union territories (UTs) have agreed to implement them as of now.
While the rules have existed for four years now, only 18 states and union territories (UTs) have agreed to implement the policy so far. Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, and Punjab are among the others who are yet to adopt it.
The reason why so many states have been reluctant to implement the RoW policy is that it makes it mandatory for a standard levy of a one-time fee of ₹ 10,000 per mobile tower and ₹ 1,000 per kilometre for laying the fibre cable. States and the municipal bodies charge a different fee to lay the fibre cables which at times could be as much as ₹ 1 crore as these charges are an important source of revenue for them.