Home5GIndia considering 5G spectrum allocation for private networks

India considering 5G spectrum allocation for private networks

India’s Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that direct allocation of 5G frequencies to tech companies was a complex issue


The government of India is analyzing the potential direct allocation of 5G spectrum to local companies and will make a final decision on this issue after it fully understands the legal aspects, The Economic Times reported, citing a government official.

“Direct assignment is very complex because we must see the legality and demand in India. Even globally, a very small and niche area is set aside for private networks,” the official said. “Our understanding is that the total number of private networks across the world is in the low thousands. So, that trend is likely to continue in India as well.”

India completed its 5G spectrum auction earlier this week. Ashwini Vaishnaw, minister for electronics, IT and communications, told The Economic Times that allocating 5G spectrum to private companies was a complex issue.

“Direct assignment of the spectrum is still a work in progress, because we have to have a demand study, then see the legality of it and only then take some decision,” Vaishnaw said.

Some technology companies in India have publicly expressed interest in the direct allocation of 5G spectrum for the deployment of private networks.

The 5G spectrum auction in India concluded on August 1 and according to Vaishnaw, local carriers purchased a total $19 billion worth of spectrum.

Reliance Jio walked away with the most spectrum, having spent $11 billion. Airtel won spectrum worth $5.4 billion, while Vodafone Idea received spectrum worth $2.4 billion. Finally, Adani purchased spectrum worth approximately $27 million, which it will use to offer private 5G network services.

Indian multinational conglomerate Adani Group has said that it would use the 5G spectrum to provide private network solutions along with enhanced cyber security in the airport, ports & logistics, power generation, transmission, distribution, and various manufacturing operations.

5G is projected to account for almost 40% of mobile subscriptions in India – 500 million – by the end of 2027, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.

According to the Swedish vendor, even though 5G has not been launched commercially, there is already a good foundation for 5G uptake in India. An Ericsson ConsumerLab study indicated that 40 million smartphone users in India could take up 5G in its first year of availability.

According to an Ericsson-Arthur D Little study, 5G will enable Indian mobile service providers to generate $17 billion in incremental revenue from enterprises by 2030. Much of this is projected to be driven by the adoption of 5G in the manufacturing, energy and utilities, ICT and retail industries.

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