DoT writes to TRAI to expedite spectrum views; says PMO keen on initial launch of 5G by Aug 15

NEW DELHI, Feb 25:
The telecom department has approached TRAI requesting it to expedite spectrum recommendations, after the PMO urged it to work towards the initial launch of 5G by August 15, 2022 and explore possibility of obtaining requisite views from the regulator before March.
The market is gearing up for roll out of 5G services that will usher in ultra high-speeds and spawn new-age services and business models.
Accordingly, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is firming up its recommendations on modalities for auction of spectrum across multiple bands, including pricing, quantum and other conditions — preparing the groundwork for upcoming 5G auctions.
Norms are being worked out for new frequencies such as 526-698 MHz and millimetre band, that is 24.25 – 28.5 GHz, in addition to bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz.
TRAI had recently conducted an open house discussion with stakeholders, marking the last leg of industry-wide consultations, before finalising its views.
In its letter dated February 22, 2022 to TRAI Secretary, the Department of Telecom (DoT) said: “In reference to decision/action points emanating from deliberations of a monitoring group, PMO has requested DoT to work towards the initial launch of 5G by August 15, 2022 and also explore the possibility of obtaining requisite recommendations from TRAI before March 2022.”
“In view of the above, TRAI is requested to expedite the matter and provide the recommendations at the earliest,” the DoT letter said.
The telecom department also requested the regulator to examine the need to review channel plan in 800 MHz band and the number of spectrum blocks that can be made available for telecom services in 800 MHz band, while providing its views regarding spectrum auction modalities.
As the country gears up for mega auction, the industry has made an aggressive pitch for lowering of spectrum pricing. (PTI)