To roll out fifth generation or 5G services in India telecom companies need abundant spectrum at the lowest possible cost, said Bharti Airtel Ltd, India's second-biggest telecom operator by number of users. "Ultimately, where you want the money to go is in rolling out the networks, and building the spine that the country needs," Chief Executive Officer Gopal Vittal said during an industry event.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had recommended auctioning 5G spectrum in the 3,300 MHz to 3,600 MHz bands at a reserve price of 4.92 bln rupees per MHz, which was termed as "exorbitant" by the telecom operators. Bharti Airtel had successfully conducted a live test of 5G services on its existing 4G network in Hyderabad, highlighting its readiness for a rollout whenever the government auctions the spectrum. In January, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said the 5G test-bed is ready, and the permit for the trials will be given soon.
Voda Idea seeks rapid progress in 5G trials – Another development, Vodafone Idea Ltd Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ravinder Takkar has called for rapid progress in fifth-generation trials in India at a time when the next-generation technology is gaining traction in the country.
Earlier, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said the permit for the trials will be given soon. Takkar said the recent report by the parliamentary panel on information technology, which reviewed India's preparedness for 5G, "underlines the need for rapid progress on 5G trials and deployment of India-specific use cases".