The auction of 5G spectrum in India will not be delayed, Minister of Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Monday. His statement comes at a time when there has been a delay on part of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in submitting its recommendations on spectrum pricing and other nuances to the telecom ministry.
Responding to a question on whether telecom auctions in India will be held as per the schedule, Vaishnaw said – “Absolutely”. He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the 2nd national conference on cybercrime investigation and digital forensics.
As per previous reports, TRAI was expected to submit its recommendations for deployment of 5G connectivity in India towards the end of March this year post which the Telecom Ministry was to review the regulator’s recommendations before conducting the auction for 5G spectrum in India sometime in May this year.
However, a senior TRAI official on March 29 told PTI that the recommendations on 5G spectrum pricing and other modalities will take place in coming seven to ten days indicating a slight delay. This raised concerns if a delay in TRAI’s recommendations would also translate into a delay in the 5G spectrum auction. However, the telecom minister refuted the claims saying that there would not be a delay in spectrum auctions.
Notably, as India nears the 5G spectrum auction, major telecom players in India, which includes Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have been strengthening their infrastructure in the country. Telecom companies have been testing their 5G networks in various sites in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Gurugram, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Pune, and Varanasi among others.
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