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5G spectrum auction this year or in early 2020: Telecom Minister RS Prasad

A telecom tower

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that 5G spectrum auctions in India will take place by the end of 2019 or by early next year, reports The Hindu. He added, "the government has ensured that India's auction of the spectrum will be done in a fair and transparent manner". In June, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) had outlined a plan to hold next spectrum sale by December 2019, however now it might get delayed till early next year. Largest auction of airwaves: This would be the government's largest spectrum auction, where over 8,200 MHz of airwaves at an estimated total base price of INR 5.86 lakh crore, will be up for sale, besides the sale of 4G spectrum. It is worth noting that the central government earned INR 65,789 crores from spectrum auctions of 2G, 3G, and 4G in 2016. Concerns of telecom sector: Telecom Minister said, "DoT has noted the problems faced by the industry, which is reeling under the debt of INR 8 lakh crore and the government will give its support. He ensured "the government will be open to assist, facilitate, guide and motivate and in return, they would expect TSPs to reinforce their own management, technology, and services". He added, "all policy initiatives have been done, starting from the spectrum trading to spectrum sharing. A communications policy is already in place". The telecom sector's debt is nearly INR 8 lakh crore, with that of Bharti Airtel at INR 1.16 lakh crore and Vodafone Idea's at INR 99,300…

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