Government wants fast 5G rollout
Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnav on Thursday said the Centre has provided the spectrum allocation letters to the telecom operators and asked them to gear up for the launch of 5G services.
With the allocation letters offered within a day of the operators making their first payments, the Modi government received a ringing endorsement on the Ease of Doing Business from Bharti Airtel founder Sunil Mittal.
“In my over 30 years of first-hand experience with DoT, this is a first ! Business as it should be. Leadership at work-Right at the top and at the helm of telecom. What a Change ! Change that can transform this nation – power its dreams to be a developed nation,” Mittal said.
Airtel has paid the highest sum upfront — Rs 8,312 crore for a four-year period — while rivals opted to make a single instalment. Mittal said Airtel received the spectrum within hours of making the payments.
It plans to launch 5G services later this month.
Analysts said most of the high-paying subscribers in the metros and other big cities would get 5G services by the end of this year.
It will take anywhere from one-and-a-half-to- two years, depending on the availability of devices and other supporting factors, to cover the entire country with 5G, they said.
The DoT has received Rs 17,876 crore from the Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Adani Data Networks and Vodafone Idea in the first instalment for the spectrum they won in the recent auction.
The country’s biggest ever auction of telecom spectrum received a record Rs 1.5 lakh crore worth of bids.