With the date announcement, users now await clarity from major telecom companies
DoT has previously said that the 5G internet will be started in 13 major Indian cities
The previous date for the 5G rollout was September 29
After a successful 5G spectrum auction, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said that the 5G services will be available in most parts of the country in 2-3 years. Meanwhile, the rollout of 5G services in major circles will begin as early as October 12.
“We are planning to roll out 5G services rapidly. Telecom operators are working in that regard and installations are being done. Hopefully, we should be launching 5G services by October 12 and then would further scale [it] up in [more] cities and towns,” IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said during a press conference.
Previously, the DoT announced that the 5G internet will begin rollout in 13 major Indian cities including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.
With the October rollout date from the government, users now await clarity from major telecom companies. While Airtel plans to start in August 2022, Jio did not specify a date, yet hinted at a rollout ‘soon’; and Vi too did not share a rollout date yet.
It is to be noted here that the government previously planned to begin rolling out 5G services from September 29, but even the fortnight-long delay can be overlooked considering the ease of doing business visible in DoT’s history.
According to Bharti Airtel’s Sunil Mittal, an allocation letter was reportedly issued to Airtel within a few hours of making an upfront payment to the DoT. He claimed that this was the first time in 30 years that allocation letters got issued on the same day of payment.
Notably, while Airtel has made a bid of INR 43,039.63 Cr for the 5G spectrum, the company has paid INR 8,312.4 Cr (four annual instalments equivalent) to DoT. Airtel acquired 19,867.8 MHz spectrum by securing a pan-India footprint of 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands and select purchase of radio waves in the low and mid-band spectrum.
Reliance Jio has made payments of INR 7,864.78 Cr (it bid for INR 87,946.93 Cr) whereas Vi paid INR 1,679.98 Cr (it bid for INR 18,786.25 Cr) and Adani Data Networks paid INR 18.94 Cr (it bid for INR 211.86 Cr).
The telecoms have considered paying the 5G bid amount in 20 annual instalments.
Vaishnaw had earlier asked the telco to gear up for the 5G rollout post the issuance of spectrum allocation letters and claimed that every part of India will have 5G within 2-3 years.
“We’ll ensure that it remains affordable. The industry is focusing on both urban as well as rural areas,” he said.