The telecom sector's most awaited event - spectrum auction - starts later today when the three operators - Reliance Jio , Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea will bid for 4G airwaves that will, in Reliance Jio's case, help to continue offering services without any disruption, and for all telcos, boost their network capacities and support expansion plans in a bid to get more data customers.
The new JioPhone offers won’t change the sector’s competitive dynamics as the minimum upfront commitment of Rs 1,499 (including device) is more than double what a 2G user, typically, spends upfront on a device and the initial recharge.
It would be interesting to see how much bandwidth the government would be able to sell, given the existing debt burden of over Rs 8 lakh crore for the industry and sufficient quantity of airwaves already held by the likes of Airtel and Vodafone Idea.
With the launch of 5G test beds, the Ministry said it will be in the category of the US, the UK, European Union, Sweden, Finland, Thailand, China, Japan and South Korea which are among some of the countries that have announced the launch of 5G.
Experts say that a successful bid for NUE is set to add to the company's plans to make further inroads into the buoyant digital space. Mukesh Ambani led Jio has managed to raise funds from some of the largest global investors for India's growth story.
Raman said that 5G may not be relevant to the utilities industry as many use cases are not currently bandwidth intensive or require ultra low latency. “...however, utilities can actually evolve a device ecosystem. And then they can say that we can work with 5G.”
During the panel discussion on the 5G smartphone ecosystem, Sunil Raina, president at Lava International said that 5G devices are coming into the Indian market much faster despite the network unavailability due to the fast ecosystem shift in the Chinese market.
"We are studying the regulations…the telcos with value added services will come under the OTT regulations," said a senior executive in one of the three telcos. Another senior executive at a second operator confirmed the same, adding their legal teams are still going through the revised intermediary guidelines under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, announced Thursday.
“Until now, they (Indian government) have no negative attitude or decision to block Huawei for 5G,” Jay Chen, Huawei’s Asia Pacific vice president, said during a virtual session of Mobile World Congress 2021.
“Our India factories are not even fully geared up to meet local demand… Given supply constraints and Covid-19 still being there, I don’t think it will be realistic for us to believe that at least in the next few months or next few quarters, we will be able to export significantly,” Xiaomi India MD Manu Jain told ET.
Speaking at ET Telecom 5G Congress, 2021 held virtually on Thursday, the executives urged the government to hasten 5G field trials to pave the way for commercial deployments of the fast mobile broadband technology. They also reiterated their call for early cuts in the hefty telecom levies to ease continuing financial stress in the debt-laden telecom sector.