Even though the 5G network is not available in India, several smartphone companies have launched 5G-ready devices. In fact, companies have launched smartphones under Rs. 20,000 and several are planning to launch this year with MediaTek or Qualcomm chipsets under the same segment.
Telcos Offer 2G And 4G Network
Currently, telecom operators are focussing on providing 2G and 4G services in the country. These telecom operators are using 800 MHz 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz, 2300 MHz, and 2500 MHz bands in India. However, the most efficient 700 MHz band fails to attract buyers in the last two auctions due to the high base price.
Government Yet To Take Call On Affordable Spectrum Bands
It is worth mentioning that the Department of Telecommunication has suggested a 3300- 3600 MHz band for the upcoming technology. However, telecom operators want DoT to add millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum bands in the auction.
The COAI has also written a letter telecom ministry and ask to include 6GHz, 28GHz, and 37GHz-bands in the 5G spectrum auction.
“A reminder has just been sent to DoT that the revised NFAP has still not been finalized by its Wireless Planning & Coordination wing even after various meetings of the working groups were held and inputs provided by all stakeholders,” said SP Kochhar, director-general of the COAI.
Cheap 5G Smartphone Might Not Meet The Standards
Notably, the Government has not decided anything on new bands and likely to ask TRAI to consider the reserve price of the 5G spectrum. In addition, the telecom ministry is likely to add a 600 sub-GHz band in the upcoming auction.
In addition, the DoT wants to reconsider the 700 MHz spectrum band in the country.
5G Plans Might Be Costlier
Even if telecom companies launched 5G services in the country in 2022, there are high chances that 5G tariff plans might be costlier than existing 4G plans, which means everyone cannot afford it initially.
Besides, the 5G network rollout is likely to be limited to a few circles. Furthermore, telcos might take time to expand their services in the country as it requires a lot of investment.
Not To Buy Cheap 5G Smartphones
It is suggested that buying these affordable 5G smartphones is not a good idea as DoT is likely to conduct an auction in the first quarter of 2022 as ministry-approved trails of the upcoming technology. However, the trials have not been started and no one knows when telcos will start the same.
Apart from that, the telecom ministry is yet to take a call on the 5G standards as Airtel does not want to develop a network on the 5Gi. The telecom operator believes that it might increase the overall cost of the mobile devices and network, which also means that smartphones developed on the 3GPP standards might not be able to operate in the country.
Additionally, there are chances that affordable smartphones might be outdated by the time telcos launched 5G services in India as DoT likely to add millimetre bands in the auction. This is why we suggest you to wait for 2022 as telcos might launch full-fledged services.
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Story first published: Tuesday, May 25, 2021, 15:04 [IST]