Follow Us:
Sunday, June 26, 2022

Explained: Here’s why telcos could launch 5G as early as September

In the notice inviting applications for the spectrum auctions to be held in March, the DoT amended the clause by cutting down the notice period to six months from one year.

Written by Aashish Aryan , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 30, 2021 10:41:16 am
Explained: Despite unsold spectrum, why DoT sees success in 2-day auctionThe Department of Telecommunications (DoT) managed to sell 4G spectrum worth about 20 per cent of the base price in the auction that concluded on Tuesday. (Bloomberg/File)

The Department of Telecommunications(DoT) on Thursday reduced the notice period for telcos to six months for rolling out a new service by using new technology. This notice period was earlier one year for telcos.

Why do telcos need to give notice before launching new services?

As part of the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP), whenever a new company wants to enter into the telecommunications market, or an existing telecom company wants to launch a new technology, a notice period of one year had to be given to the DoT so authorities can make arrangements for the spectrum required.

The first NFAP, released in 1986, has since been revised multiple times to suit growing number of users in the country as well as the demands of telecom companies. The Union government owns all the publicly available assets within the geographical boundaries of the country, which also include airwaves. With the expansion in the number of cellphone, wireline telephone and internet users, the need to provide more space for the signals arises from time to time.

Best of Express Premium
The caste and politics of Sena’s rise and its crisisPremium
The digital avatar’s new clothesPremium
How about a blog of the mother as, first, a personPremium
A disgraceful sagaPremium

The spectrum waves, however, are also used by agencies such as the Indian Space Research Organisation and defence systems for secure communication. Some of the companies also buy some spectrum for establishing secured communication between their various locations. The DoT thus mandates that all such new technologies which are being launched for commercial purposes give a notice period so that adequate arrangements can be made.

📣 JOIN NOW 📣: The Express Explained Telegram Channel

How will the reduced time period help in faster 5G roll out?

In the notice inviting applications for the spectrum auctions to be held in March, the DoT amended the clause by cutting down the notice period to six months from one year. A total of 2251.25 MHz of spectrum across seven frequency bands at a reserve price of Rs 3.92 lakh crore has been put up for sale.

The government has put up, for auction in March, frequency bands only for 4G services. This could mean that the telecom companies could start limited commercial testing of 5G services on frequency bands that are being auctioned in March.

For example, on Thursday, Bharti Airtel announced the successful demonstration of its live 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad, the first in India, showcasing the readiness of its network for the next level of mobile telephony.

The network has been rolled out on a use case basis on a non-standalone basis on the 1800 MHz frequency band. The roll out on a non-standalone basis means that network can fall back on 4G if there are some glitches in the 5G network.

Though the company would still need more spectrum and permission from the DoT to start offering 5G services on a commercial basis, it can now start these real time tests from September 2021 after buying spectrum in March 2021.

Apart from Bharti Airtel, its market rival Reliance Jio Infocomm, had also announced a few days ago that it had begun advanced 5G tests on its network and planned to bring 5G in India as soon as the second half of this year.

How will Indian users benefit from faster roll out of 5G?

5G or fifth generation is the latest upgrade in the long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks. On par with global players, India had, in 2018, planned to start 5G services as soon as possible, with an aim to capitalise on the better network speeds and strength that the technology promised. However, claims on spectrum space by the Defence Ministry and space department on part of the spectrum that was identified for 5G services has led to the delay up until now.

With the shortened notice period for service roll out, telcos feel they will be able to commercially launch the new technology as early as first half of 2022. This would mean that Indian users would be at the forefront of adopting a new technology and experiencing the various uses of it. The introduction of new technology would also mean development of new industry such as 5G handsets around the periphery.

Express Subscription Do not hit the wall, subscribe for the best coverage out of India starting at just $5 per month

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Explained News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by