India’s 5G spectrum auction is expected to be completed by August, with services to follow, according to the country’s technology minister.
The fifth generation of high-speed mobile internet, known as 5G, seeks to provide faster data rates and more bandwidth to handle increasing web traffic.
According to Ashwini Vaishnaw, India’s minister for railways, communications, electronics, and information technology, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is in the final stages of discussion with the telecommunication industry on the build out of this new technology and is expected to produce a report by March.
“By the end of March, we’ll have all we need for the auction process,” Vaishnaw said on CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday.
“We expect the auction process to be completed by sometime around July or August,” he said, adding that the industry is working on equipment and 5G deployment plans at the same time, including which cities will be prioritized.
Radio frequencies are used in the telecommunications industry to permit communication over the airways. They are known as spectrum and are given to mobile network operators in lots by governments or approved regulatory bodies through an auction process.
Vaishnaw refuses to comment on 5G spectrum price.
In her budget speech last week, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman claimed that the telecommunications industry, in particular 5G technology, can drive growth and create jobs. Private telcos would put out 5G mobile services before the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2023, she noted, after the needed spectrum auctions are held this year.
When asked if Huawei, a Chinese telecom business, would be able to join in India’s 5G deployment, India’s technology minister, Vaishnaw, replied that any company wishing to engage in the market must match the country’s telecom equipment provider standards.
He added that India considers telecommunications to be a strategic service with ramifications for national security.
“Any company that basically gets qualified through that trusted process, any company that gets qualified through that trusted process, any company that basically gets qualified through that trusted process, those companies would be able to provide their equipment to the telecom service providers who need the equipment,” he said.
According to media reports from last year, Huawei and China’s ZTE were excluded from India’s 5G trials.
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