Prime minister Narendra Modi will launch 5G services in select cities of India on October 01, 2022. The launch of 5G services follows 5G spectrum auctions in which 51,236 MHz was allocated to telecom service providers with a gross revenue of ₹1,50,173 crore.
The cumulative economic impact of 5G on India is expected to reach $450 billion by 2035, the Ministry of Communications says, adding the service will cover the entire country over the next couple of years.
"5G can unleash new economic opportunities and societal benefits giving it the potential for being a transformational force for Indian society. It will help the country leapfrog the traditional barriers to development, spur innovations by startups and business enterprises as well as advance the 'Digital India' vision," the ministry says.
An inter-ministerial committee on 5G use-cases has been functioning since 2021 in coordination with 12 central ministries, enabling setting up of 5G use-case labs. Consultations with industry have been held enabling the 5G ecosystem to make 5G handsets available, it adds.
This comes weeks after the government amended the Indian Telegraph Right of Way (RoW) Rules, 2016, to facilitate faster and easier deployment of telecom infrastructure for 5G rollout. The new rules put a ceiling for RoW charges for installation of 5G small cells and optical fibre cable on street furniture.
Telecom operator Bharti Airtel is looking to roll out 5G services by October and cover key metro cities in the country by December 2022. India's largest telco Reliance Jio, too, plans to launch 5G in India's major cities by Diwali 2022. Jio expects to roll-out its 5G service across the country by December 2023.
Last month, Union minister of communications Ashwini Vaishnaw said the amended Right of Way Rules will pave the way for deployment of 5G small cells on existing street infrastructure. The amendments provide for a single window clearance system for RoW applications. Telecom licencees will be able to use street infrastructure to deploy telecom equipment at a nominal cost of ₹150 per annum in rural areas and ₹300 per annum in urban areas, the minister said.
To facilitate faster 5G rollout, no administrative fee will be charged by the central government or its agencies for establishment of poles on the land owned or controlled by them. For states and UTs, the administrative fee for establishment of poles shall be limited to ₹1,000 per pole, the ministry said.
On Saturday, PM Modi will inaugurate the 6th edition of India Mobile Congress 2022 (IMC-2022) to be held from October 1-4, 2022, at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. State IT secretaries have also been invited to the IMC-2022 and a roundtable conference with state IT ministers is also planned during the IMC-2022 to discuss with them about the role of states and UTs in the rollout of 5G, business opportunities, need for skill development and for interaction with potential start-ups and investors.