DoT had initially planned to charge for 5G trial spectrum allocations on ‘a per radiating node’ basis, but it has now agreed to a “per location’ charging model.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is likely to extend the duration for allocating 5G spectrum for trials to one year instead of the present 90-days limit and may levy a nominal spectrum allocation charge of Rs 5,000 per location for field trials.
Stating that the present 90-day limit is too short, Telcos and network vendors have been demanding allocation of the airwaves to be extended to one year.
According to ET, DoT has also agreed to a “per location’ charging model. It had initially planned to charge for 5G trial spectrum allocations on ‘a per radiating node’ basis. The change in decision came after the telecom industry pointed out that the former charging mechanism would make trial spectrum allocations exorbitant since 5G networks, unlike 2G, 3G or 4G, involve thousands of nodes in any location.
Decision taken during 5G review meeting
The matter was discussed during a recent DoT meeting, where the officials finally decided to charge a nominal location-based fee for such allocations to ensure that people use 5G trial spectrum fully within defined time limits, a person who was present at the meeting told ET.
Though the DoT has also agreed to consider the industry’s call for extending the 5G trial spectrum allocation span to 12 months, a decision on this is awaited, the report said.
During the 5G review meeting earlier this week, the telecom industry reiterated its suggestion that DoT urge all states and local municipal bodies to waive right of way (RoW) installation charges for telcos rolling out fibre for 5G trials and also persuade them to provide the requisite street furniture—electricity poles, bus stands, hoardings— for installation of small cells, which are low-powered radio access nodes.