India is planning to commence field trials of 5G networks across the country in the next 100 days, according to India's newly appointed Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. India will also hold a mega spectrum auction for 5G and other radio waves this year.
Prasad said that India will soon commence field trials of 5G technology across the country in an effort to roll it out for public use once trials get over. Here's what Prasad had to say:
"We are soon going to launch field trials of 5G technology. It shall be our effort to roll out 5G for public use after the field trials," said Prasad.
Prasad also talked about the government's plan to "channelize and leverage" domestic intelligence and solutions provided by Indian startups to help implement 5G technology.
"We want to channelize and leverage the solutions provided by India’s startups in implementation of 5G technology," Prasad added.
The announcement comes at a time when smartphone companies are launching 5G devices in the global market and India clearly wants to adopt future telecom network technologies at the earliest and strengthen its infrastructure.
Addressing the controversial issue of whether Chinese telecom giant Huawei will be allowed to participate in the upcoming 5G trials, Prasad told reporters that the "complex issue" will be looked at seriously including security aspects.
Meanwhile, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies, including those for 5G services, at an estimated total base price of Rs 4.9 lakh crore.
Balesh Sharma, the new chairman of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has appealed to the government that the 5G spectrum is made available to all players at "reasonable prices." COAI has also pitched for lower levies and taxes to make the Telecom sector stronger and sustainable.
"5G spectrum should be made available to all players at reasonable prices such that more investments are directed towards enhancing network capacity and capabilities," said Sharma, who is also the CEO of Vodafone Idea.
(With PTI inputs)