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    5G services to be rolled out soon as Cabinet gives nod to mega spectrum auction

    5G services to be rolled out soon as Cabinet gives nod to mega spectrum auction

    5G services to be rolled out soon as Cabinet gives nod to mega spectrum auction
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

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    Cabinet gives nod to 5G spectrum auction: As part of the process, a total of 72 gigahertz (GHz) of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put to auction in July.

    The much-awaited 5G services, about 10 times faster than 4G, will be rolled out soon as the Union Cabinet has given its nod to the Department of Telecommunications' (Do'sT) proposal of holding a mega 5G spectrum auction.
    "The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal of the Department of Telecommunications to conduct spectrum auction through which spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for providing 5G services to public and enterprises," a government statement released on Wednesday stated.
    It added that the upcoming 5G services have the potential to create new-age businesses, generate additional revenue for enterprises and provide employment arising from the deployment of innovative use-cases and technologies.
    As part of the process, a total of 72 gigahertz (GHz) of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years would be put to auction.
    The auctions are likely to be conducted in July, as per the statement, and the DoT will soon release a notice inviting applications.
    The auction will be held for spectrum in low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), mid (3300 MHz), and high (26 GHz) frequency bands.
    "It is expected that the mid and high band spectrum will be utilised by telecom service providers to roll out 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities about 10 times higher than what is possible through the current 4G services," the government said.
    The government said it would levy a zero spectrum usage charge (SUC) on the spectrum acquired in the upcoming auction. Besides, telecom operators will not be required to make an upfront payment and the dues can be paid in 20 equal instalments.
    The decision might be slightly disappointing for telcos as they had sought spectrum for 30 years.
    Among telecom stocks, while Reliance Industries (RIL) was trading 0.15 percent lower at Rs 2,623 per share on the BSE at 11:30 AM, Bharti Airtel was trading 0.40 percent lower at Rs 679 per share. The loss-making Vodafone Idea was trading 0.34 percent higher at Rs 8.83 per share.
    According to Mahesh Uppal, Director, ComFirst India, which specialises in communications policy, the auction for 5G is unlikely to be a 'two-horse race' as all three key players would want to get a foot in the door.
    "All the three major players would want a piece of the 5G, but I think the bidding may not be aggressive," Uppal told CNBC-TV18. He expects the 20-year payment option to help the companies on the cash flow front.
    Disclosure: RIL, the promoter of Reliance Jio, also controls Network18, the parent company of CNBCTV18.com.
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