Adani 5G bid sparks debate over direct spectrum award

New Delhi Sector watchers said the Adani Group’s decision to participate in the 5G spectrum auction to launch its captive network does not affect the plans of other enterprises seeking airwaves through the non-auction route.

TV Ramachandran, president of the Broadband India Forum, which supports tech companies and private networks for enterprises, argued that even though the group had to pay an auction-determined price for the airwaves for captive use, it would be worth more. Should not apply to enterprises. Given that they cannot generate revenue from their private networks, while consumer networks on 5G technology can expect higher revenues.

“Adani’s move to participate in the auction strengthens the case for captive networks as it underscores the general interest and importance in private 5G networks,” Ramachandran said in an interview. Asked whether buying spectrum by Adani could determine the base price for captive networks. About other companies, he said the question does not arise. “Not at all. I’m sure everyone knows that captive networks don’t have an external connect, and have zero revenue, so high auction-type pricing is out of the question. It’s only relevant to public networks.”

The DoT is yet to issue guidelines for captive non-public networks or CNPNs. The department has said that it will allow companies to get spectrum directly and set up their own separate network. However, the government is expected to initiate a demand study and take recommendations from the sector regulator for direct allocation of spectrum to enterprises.

On the other hand, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which has supported the case of private networks being offered by carriers on lease, said that Adani’s entry into private networks leveled the playing field as all companies that Want to deploy 5G, they should bid. for air waves. “The spectrum should not be granted on administrative grounds as it does not make any business case for the rollout of 5G networks in India. If independent entities set up private captive networks with direct 5G spectrum allocation by DoT, it would reduce revenue so much that there would be no viable business case for TSPs (telecom service providers) and no need for a 5G network rollout . by TSP,” said SP Kochhar, Director General, COAI.

Carriers want to increase enterprise revenue by providing 5G network services to small, medium and large enterprises, but Adani’s entry into captive networks by obtaining a unified license will adversely affect potential revenue from this segment, as the partnership between 3.5GHz and 26GHz may be limited to. band for the provision of private enterprise 5G network services, analysts said.

“Enterprise 5G is likely to be a major source of revenue for telcos in the near term, in such a scenario, a new entrant 5G network, even if only for enterprises, will increase competition for existing operators,” analysts said. ” Goldman Sachs.

Credit Suisse said, “With only 330 MHz of spectrum (40 MHz is reserved for BSNL), and with three strong bidders (Jio, Airtel and Adani) as well as Vodafone Idea, we expect to bid in the 3.5 GHz band.” Huh.” in a note.

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