Modi’s cabinet clears 5G spectrum auction for 10x faster services, to be held by July


New Delhi: In a big move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led union cabinet has cleared the auction of 5G spectrum, which will be held the end of July.

A total of 72 GHz (gigahertz) of spectrum – with a validity period of 20 years – will be put to auction. About 10 times faster than 4G, India is set to roll out the 5G services soon, the government said.

“Digital connectivity has been an important part of policy initiatives of the government through its flagship programs such as Digital India, Start-up India, Make in India and others,” an official statement read.

“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 utilised 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,” it underlined.

“Broadband, especially the mobile broadband, has become (an) integral part of the daily lives of the citizens. This received a big boost through the rapid expansion of 4G services across the country since 2015. Eighty crore subscribers have access to broadband today compared to ten crore subscribers in 2014,” the statement further added. New-age businesses are set to benefitted with the big move, which will also create additional revenue for enterprises.

The Telecom Sector Reforms – announced in September last year – are expected to benefit the auction. The requirement of submitting a financial bank guarantee equivalent to one annual instalment has also been done away with.

The union cabinet has also decided to enable the development and setting up of Private Captive Networks, the government said, 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.

Earlier this year, PM Modi had said India was planning to launch 6G services by the end of this decade and a task force has started working in that direction