Syllabus: Science and Tech; Mobilization of Resources
Context: Cabinet has cleared the way for the auction of the 5G spectrum
Benefits from the auction:
- Newer avenues: The auction and steps outlined for bidding would open up newer avenues for deeper penetration, access and rich user experience.
- Option of surrender: Operators would have the flexibility to surrender the spectrum after 10 years without any liabilities.
- Wider choices: Wide availability of spectrum across all bands will help potential bidders to opt for spectrum bands and quantum as per their strategy.
- Benefits from captive 5G networks: Captive networks would drive digital transformation, augment industry efficiencies and lead to greater economic benefits.
- Millimetre-waveband: Auction of the millimetre-waveband, would not only help unlock the ‘true’ potential of 5G but would also help strategically manage costs for the operators.
What are spectrum auctions?
A spectrum auction is a process whereby a government uses an auction system to sell the rights to transmit signals over specific bands of the electromagnetic spectrum and to assign scarce spectrum resources.
Spectrum auctions in India
Devices such as cellphones and wireline telephones require signals to connect from one end to another. These signals are carried on airwaves, which must be sent at designated frequencies to avoid any kind of interference.
- The Union government owns all the publicly available assets within the geographical boundaries of the country, which also include airwaves.
- With the expansion in the number of cellphones, wireline telephones and internet users, the need to provide more space for the signals arises from time to time.
- To sell these assets to companies willing to set up the required infrastructure to transport these waves from one end to another, the central government through the DoT auctions these airwaves from time to time.
- These airwaves are called a spectrum, which is subdivided into bands which have varying frequencies.
- All these airwaves are sold for a certain period of time, after which their validity lapses, which is generally set at 20 years.
Discuss the advantages that 5G technology holds as compared to previous mobile technology. (10M)
Source: The Hindu