A panel of the Department of Telecom working on the price and auction modalities for 5G spectrum is yet to finalise its report, a top official said on Thursday. "It is still under examination. It (DoT panel) has not come to me," Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash told reporters. He was replying to a query on the status of government's decision around 5G spectrum price and if the panel working on spectrum auction has submitted its recommendations.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had last year 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, but the financially-stressed industry that is buckling under high debt, had argued that proposed prices are unaffordable and exorbitant.
Some industry players had pointed out that the average price of 5G band auctioned in countries like South Korea, Spain, the UK and Italy comes out to be Rs 84 crore/MHz, whereas Trai's recommended price for the same band is 5 to 6 times higher at Rs 492 crore/MHz. Prakash said that there will be some demonstration of 5G technology at India Mobile Congress event which is scheduled to start from October 15.
Talking about trials, he said that the DoT has already issued guidelines. "We have devised a form which has to be filled by those who are interested. Based on that government will take a call on how to go about it," Prakash said. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in June had said that 5G trials will start within 100 days.