The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued demand notices to Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi) and Adani Data Networks, to make payments by August 16, 2022. The telcos have been given the option to pay in 20 equal annual instalments. However, the telcos can also choose to pay the entire amount or pay part upfront payment (which can be a multiple of complete years with a minimum of two years).

In addition to issuing the demand notices, the DoT informed the companies that in frequency range 25.5-27 GHz, a keep out zone of 2.7 kilometres radius may need to be provided from a location to be specified in future in Gujarat and Andaman and Nicobar islands. Accordingly, the companies may be required to relocate their transmitters as necessary, for which a pro-rata reduction in the total payment liability will be allowed, with effect from date of such exclusion or date of relocation of transmitter, whichever is later.

Besides raising the demand for making payments, the DoT has informed about spectrum availability in all the blocks in various bands won by the companies. Meanwhile, DoT has also communicated to the firms about the incomplete spectrum availability in some blocks. The government expects 5G services to be rolled out gradually from September-October 2022 with pan India coverage to be completed in two-three years, backed by investments of around Rs 2-3 trillion. Initially, 5G networks are likely to be launched in metros and category A circles that have high paying power, followed by smaller cities and towns.