Even as the Parliamentary Panel on IT in a recent report has asserted that India is currently unprepared for rolling out the latest 5G telecom services, the Union government has cleared the way for 5G service roll-out from early next year.
According to a recent proposal tabled in the Parliament, the 5G roll-out is likely to commence following the next round of spectrum auction.
The Parliament panel report blamed the government’s lack of clarity while pulling up the department of telecommunications (DoT) for the delay in the launch of 5G services. The telecom ministry has announced that the auction of spectrum worth Rs 3.92 lakh crore from March 1, but it does not include the desired frequency band for 5G services.
Meanwhile, the Union government has cleared speculations and has informed the IT panel that the roll-out of 5G services will commence later this year in some specific uses. The government believes that the 4G services should continue in India for at least another 5-6 years.
“From the foregoing, the committee is inclined to conclude that sufficient preparatory work has not been undertaken for launching 5G services in India. As such, India has not moved beyond the modest beginning stage as compared to other countries in the world,” the Parliament panel report said.
The panel has also criticised government planning for execution of 5G in the country. “So, it is likely that after missing the 2G, 3G and 4G bus, India is going to miss 5G opportunities, unless time-bound action is taken in core areas where governmental intervention is required,” the report said.
Further, the DoT has informed the panel that the testbed for 5G trials is expected to be ready by October 2021. “It is disappointing to note that the department (DoT) has hardly learnt from the past delays as the vision for 5G, which was reflected in the constitution of the high-level forum and expert committees, has not been transformed into action on the ground and is not reflected in the policies formulated by the government,” the report said.