Manish Vyas, President of Communications Business and Chief Executive Officer of Network Services, of Tech Mahindra said the India Department of Telecom needs to commence the auction of 5G spectrum now. He noted that regulators in some countries have already formulated policies and initiated spectrum auctions for the 5G roll out in their respective nations.
Vyas said 4G is yet to touch all parts of India and that needs to happens on a massive scale. Yet there are some “definite green-shoots” of 5G trials.
More than technology, the bigger impediment could be the India regulatory body’s policy on 5G spectrum. The experimental license by DoT will need modifications, and till that happens, the sector is in for a “waiting game” he said.
“US, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and more (have started 5G spectrum auctions). Spectrum is the life blood of any wireless network. For 5G, globally regulators have been licensing mid-band (3.5GHz) and in some countries mmWave (millimeter Wave) spectrum bands as well.
For 5G to be rolled out in India, the first necessary step is for the regulator to auction the 5G spectrum. Everything else will be gated on spectrum,” he wrote in an email to the Economic Times of India.
Vodafone Idea recently said the auction of 5G spectrum should not be held before 2020 as the industry needs time to develop India-specific use cases for the next-generation technology.
A DoT official in December last year said the government expects to complete processes for 5G spectrum auction by August, 2019.
Tech Mahindra established a strategic partnership with Intel on a wide range of topics spanning across Virtualization of RAN (radio access network) , Cloud native 5G Core and on Edge Computing, Vyas said.
“Intel brings best in class technology for 5G infrastructure and will form the foundation of 5G networks.
We are collaborating with Intel to maximise the benefits of their technology for 5G networks and we are also working on developing 5G use cases for specific industry verticals in the CoE,” he said.
A panel set up to recommend the scope of 5G trials in the country has submitted its report to the Department of Telecom (DoT), a source said.
The DoT-constituted committee chaired by IIT Kanpur Director Abhay Karandikar was tasked to give recommendations on the scope of trials, as well as size, quantum, pricing and other aspects for offering experimental/trial spectrum for 5G and other trials.
A DoT source privy to the development said that the report was submitted recently and is currently being examined, but did not divulge details.
Some industry representatives had earlier informed the committee, during the past deliberations, that the various stages involved in the process of experimentation and trials such as import and release of equipment, logistic clearance, installation and commission of equipment, network integration, interoperability checking, and testing of applications require longer duration and that the existing validity of three months is very short and needs to be increased.
The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 outlines a mission to ‘propel India’ by enabling next generation technologies and services through investments, innovation and IPR generation.
In this regard, it underlines the need to harness the power of emerging digital technologies, including 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Cloud and Big Data to enable provision of future-ready products and services.