Trai recommendation on 5G spectrum by March, service roll out this year: Telecom Min
The budget also announced infusion of Rs 44,720 crore into loss-making state-owned telecom firm BSNL in the next financial year.
- The budget also announced infusion of Rs 44,720 crore into loss-making state-owned telecom firm BSNL in the next financial year.
- He said that the budget focuses on enhancing research and development of indigenous technology.
New Delhi: The telecom minister Ashwani Vaishnaw on Tuesday said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's recommendation on 5G spectrum is expected to come by March, after which spectrum action will be held expeditiously for the roll out of the next generation service.
The minister said the the Department of Telecom is parallelly working on other auction-related processes to start the spectrum auction at the earliest.
Commenting on the Union Budget 2022-23, the minister said "recommendations on 5G are expected by March".
He said that the budget focuses on enhancing research and development of indigenous technology.
The minister said that the government will make efforts for 5G services to be rolled out in India in 2022.
Trai has floated a consultation paper of 5G spectrum auction to discuss the view of interested companies and other stakeholders to fix price and conditions for allotment of the radiowaves.
The regulator will give its recommendation to the Department of Telecom which will then seek approval of higher authorities before conducting the auction.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget speech for 2022-23, said the telecommunication sector in general, and 5G technology in particular, can enable growth and offer job opportunities.
She said that the spectrum auctions will be conducted in 2022, to facilitate the roll out of 5G mobile services within 2022-23, by private telecom providers and a scheme for design-led manufacturing will be launched to build a strong ecosystem for 5G as part of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
"To enable affordable broadband and mobile service proliferation in rural and remote areas, five per cent of annual collections under the Universal Service Obligation Fund will be allocated. This will promote R&D and commercialization of technologies and solutions," Sitharaman said.
She said that the contracts for laying optical fibre in all villages, including remote areas, will be awarded under the Bharatnet project through PPP in 2022-23, which is expected to be completed in 2025, to provide all villages and their residents the same access to e-services, communication facilities, and digital resources at par with urban areas.
The budget also announced infusion of Rs 44,720 crore into loss-making state-owned telecom firm BSNL in the next financial year, according to Budget documents.
The telecom minister said BSNL has started making operational profit and the long-term vision of the government is to strategically grow the company and the Rs 69,000 crore revival package for telecom PSUs were a step in that direction.
"BSNL is now making operating profit after a long time," the minister said.
The capital infusion in BSNL is mainly for 4G spectrum and 4G service roll out across the country.
"4G and 5G are organically linked. One who has not installed 4G cannot install 5G. We have to see that a lot of youth, friends, brothers connect with BSNL and it should provide last-mile connectivity," Vaishnaw said.
He said that the production of indigenously developed 4G has started, which has gone through large-scale deployment, large-scale testing and it should be upgraded to 5G after stabilisation.
Besides, the capital infusion, the government will provide additional financial support of Rs 7,443.57 crore to the telecom firm for a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) and Rs 3,550 crore as grant-in-aid for payment of GST.
The financial support for VRS includes the implementation of the scheme at both BSNL and MTNL. The support for goods and services tax (GST) will be provided to BSNL fo