The Department of Telecommunications has asked telecom and other companies to vacate the spectrum in the 3,300-3,400 Mhz band, which will be used as 5G airwaves. This was said in a notice dated March 27, and companies have six months to comply.

No new assignments will be made in that band and existing licences will not be renewed, the notice said. It added that the telcos may want to migrate to other frequency bands, such as 2.7-2.9 GHz and 5 GHz, which are currently being used for providing internet services.

Bharti Airtel has already surrendered airwaves in this spectrum band, media reports said. Reliance Communication has shut down services as it processes the sale of its infrastructure. Corporations like Indian Oil Corporation and ONGC are also currently using the spectrum.

The government is speeding up its action to begin 5G services in India. It is reported that recommendations for the auction by June. The consultation has already concluded. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had included the deployment and growth of 5G bands as key in its recommendations for national telecom policy. The government plans to bring India’s 5G at par with the world, or by 2020. Telcos want a delay in auction given the stressed condition of the telecom industry.

Government’s intention resonated in their budget when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech proposed a set of measures to aimed to improve internet access in India. Among them was the creation of an indigenous test bed for 5G technology. The plan for setting up a 5G test bed at IIT Madras was first announced in December 2017 and it is expected to be operational within the next six months.

It was earlier reported that Nokia and Airtel had a partnership to work on 5G technology standards and management of connected devices via the Internet of Things (IoT).