As per K Rajaraman, secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and chairman, Digital Communications Commission (DCC), India has begun laying the groundwork for 5G spectrum auctions scheduled for 2022. India is the world’s second-largest telecoms market, with telecom operators intending to put out 5G mobile services by 2022-23. It is expected that 5G will add $450 billion to the Indian economy, boosting the speed of development and creating jobs. It will aid in the digitisation of the economy, the growth of the startup environment, better governance, and the ease of doing business in the country.

In 5G-centric technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and cloud computing, India will require 22 million qualified professionals by 2025. With an ever-growing subscriber base, the sector has seen a lot of investment and development. According to data supplied by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), FDI inflow into the telecom sector totaled $37.97 billion from April 2000 to March 2021.

Meanwhile, the telcos have stated that they will need six months to build out their 5G services after the 5G spectrum auction. Ashwini Vaishnaw, ministry of electronics, information and technology, believes the 5G service rollout will take place around August 2022.

However, the telecom companies have been given extended time up to May 2022 to test their 5G networks so that it could be possible for them to fast-track the commercial rollout of 5G.

Besides, in the recent development, TRAI has detailed its plan to put on auction around Rs 7.5 trillion worth of airwaves across multiple bands. The TRAI, in this mega 5G spectrum auctions, has planned to put on an auction spectrum band. All available spectrum in existing bands, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz and new spectrum bands – 600 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz and 24.25-28.5 GHz, be put to auction.

As part of the roll-out, India is aiming to increase its fibre backbone to 2.5 million kilometres (1.6 million miles) by 2022 from 1.5 million kilometres right now. Unlike existing coverage-based rollout obligations, considering deployment of 5G network in 3300-3670 MHz and 24.25-28.5 GHz bands, easy network deployment-based roll-out conditions have been recommended for these bands.

Meanwhile, for domestic consumption and export, Ericsson will start manufacturing 5G radio products in India. By 2025, India will need 22 million skilled workers in 5G-centric technologies such as the IoT, AI, robotics and cloud computing.