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Telcos may get 5G trial spectrum for a year

Innovation partners ? Cisco, Nokia, Samsung, Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE ? which have presented their proposals to participate in the 5G field preliminaries, may get range assignment for a year that will be extendable for a one-time expense of Rs 5,000 per location.

The government, nonetheless, is in a quandary on Huawei's support in the preliminaries and possible deployments. It will take a call based on the recommendation of a panel looking into the 5G security issues.

?In the run-up, it is decided that the duration of the trial would be for at least 12 months that will be extendable, for a one-time fee of Rs 5,000 per geographical area, excluding the time required for all preparations and clearances,? said a senior government official, adding that the telecom ministry is committed to roll-out 5G trials in the next 100 days.

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as of late told Lok Sabha that 5G trials would be undertaken only through ?licensed telcos in a respective, limited geographical area for specific use cases.?

Thecommittee headed by the Principal Scientific Advisor has been constituted to give recommendations on security relating to 5G technology and trials in India and is likely to send its report to the Ministry of Communications in a week.

Indeed, even as the government finds a way to start 5G tasks, Anshul Prakash, extra secretary in the Department of Telecom, sounded suspicious of the exceedingly utilized telecom industry's capacity to put resources into the new-age systems. ?The appetite of the industry for investments, raise capital and the ability to navigate the way forward will have to be gauged going forward,? he said speaking at an event.

Notwithstanding, the closeout of spectrum, analysts say, is improbable in 2019, given the telcos' solicitation to the government to restructure their current range obligation in light of their extended asset report. ?Indian regulators are still initiating consultations with operators and are likely to schedule auctions only in the second half of 2020 or later,? said analysts at Moody?s in a report.

Earlier in March, the standing committee set up on spectrum policy for 5G said that trials would happen towards the end of this year with early deployments in the second or third quarter of 2020.