The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) today in a boost to telecom service providers amended its notice inviting applications (NIA) for Spectrum Auction 2021 allowing telecom service providers to deploy spectrum for new technology with only 6 months prior information.
For the unversed, the initial version of NIA noted that in case of telecom operators switching to a new technology other than GSM/WCDMA/LTE/CDMA, while rolling out the networks for compliance of roll out obligations, information regarding the new technology is to be given atleast 1 year before any technology Base Station site is offered for testing.
DoT has today amended the NIA to cut down on the time frame from 12 months to 6 months.
“In case of switching over to a different technology (other than GSM/WCDMA/LTE/CDMA), while rolling out the networks for compliance of roll out obligations, information regarding the new technology to be given, before any new technology Base Station site is offered for testing, is reduced to six months from one year, said DoT in a response to a query around 5G not being mentioned in the NIA.
5G technology is now established with commercial deployments already done in many countries which include 5G deployment on bands offered under the upcoming auction. 700 MHz band in the auction is earmarked as 5G band during WRC-12 and WRC-15 deliberations with already large amounts of handsets supporting 5G on these bands available in India.
Certain entities had requested DoT to clear the air over whether liberalised spectrum being auctioned would be allowed to be used for 5G given the NIA only recognized four technologies including GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, and LTE while skipping 5G.
Notably, Bharti Airtel earlier today demonstrated that its network was 5G ready successfully demonstrating and orchestrating LIVE 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city. The company did this over liberalized spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non-Stand Alone) network technology.