The Goverment of India is expected to initiate the 5G auctions in June
India’s Department of Telecom (DoT) may use infrastructure owned by power distributors for the deployment of 5G small cells nationwide, according to Indian press reports.
As part of the initiative, the government will sign agreements with power distributors, cable operators and municipal authorities with the aim of using their utility poles for small cells deployment and providing optical fiber backhaul to these cells.
“To reduce the carbon footprint of telecom networks and reduce deployment cost of the upcoming 5G network, it is imperative to promote collaboration of the telecom industry with other infrastructure sectors,” said P D Vaghela, chairman of India’s telecoms regulator Trai.
The regulator is also considering how effectively street furniture owned by smart cities, airports, ports and railway operators can be used for the deployment of 5G networks. According to Trai, the use of street furniture will reduce the capital expenditures for telecom operators.
The Indian government is expected to meet next week on 5G spectrum prices, in order to initiate the pending 5G auctions in the country. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is expected to initiate the 5G auctions by next month.
According to previous reports, India plans to award bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.3-3.6 GHz bands. Through the spectrum auction, operators will be also able to bid for spectrum in the millimeter-wave band.
Telecom equipment vendors have recently said that they will be ready to roll out the first phase of 5G in India by October.
According to a report in Indian newspaper Business Standard, telecom gear makers have said that they will be in a position to roll out 5G services in limited areas of the top 30-50 cities in India by March 2023.
The vendors said they were expecting Indian operators to give them details about their 5G deployment plans as well as the equipment required by July.
India’s main telecom equipment makers are Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung.
According to the gear makers, the first phase of 5G deployments in India will require 1,000 towers in each city, while capital Delhi will require 4,000 towers in total.
According to the vendors, a pan-India deployment of 5G services will require the installation of at least 225,000 towers in total, apart from the addition of 5G poles on street furniture and other equipment.
According to a previous Ericsson report, 5G will represent around 39% of mobile subscriptions in India at the end of 2027, estimated at about 500 million subscriptions.
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