Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget 2022 speech today announced that spectrum auctions will be conducted this year to roll out 5G services within FY2022-23 in India.
Outlining the government’s priorities, the minister also announced inclusion of the design led initiatives for 5G and other technologies in production linked incentive (PLI) scheme.
According to Economic Survey 2021-22 tabled in the Parliament yesterday, the telecom sector reforms are poised to boost 4G proliferation, infuse liquidity and create an enabling environment for investment into 5G networks.
Besides the telecom infrastructure expansion, a slew of measures have been taken to bring about reforms, the survey said, outlining the structural and procedural reforms undertaken in the Indian telecom sector that represents the world’s second-largest telecommunication market.
Meanwhile, the industry watchers have welcomed this step of the government. “5G auctions and launch in FY 22-23 is an important and welcome step. 5G rollout would be beneficial to various segments like affordable healthcare, education and overall government service delivery. This would enable greater access and equity to citizens across the country,” said Devroop Dhar, Co-founder and MD, Primus Partners.
“Telecom operators had earlier been permitted non-commercial 5G trials by Government and thus we feel that they would now be ready for commercial rollout,” Dhar added.
“To enable affordable broadband and mobile service proliferation in rural and remote areas, 5% of annual collections Universal Service Obligation Fund will be allocated,” Sitharaman said.
She also informed that the contracts for laying optical fibres via the PPP mode will be awarded in FY23. This will happen under Bharat Net and its completion is expected in FY2025.