At a media summit on June 18th, the union minister also clarified that 5G data prices in the country would be “significantly lower than the global average”, news agency PTI reported. Though the auction will happen next month, the background process for the same is already happening.
5G network in 20-25 cities in the first phase
The union minister has confirmed that 20-25 cities across the country will get a 5G mobile network. However, the recent government release mentioned only 13 Indian cities would get the 5G connection in the first phase. These will include Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Chandigarh.
Separately, the PTI report highlights that minister Vaishnaw has noted that India’s internet data rates are at about $ 2 (roughly Rs 155), while the global average rate is at $ 25 (roughly Rs 1,900). He also noted that the 5G network prices in India will be on similar lines as the 4G network.
This falls in line with a similar statement made by Airtel CTO Randeep Sekhon earlier this year when the executive claimed that 5G and 4G tariffs in India would not be largely different from 4G. “We will know the final costs only after the spectrum auction. If you look at other markets, where operators are already proving 5G, we haven’t seen them charging a premium for it over 4G”Said Sekhon in an interview.
At the summit, the union minister also said that India’s average data consumption is 18GB per month, which is above the global average of 11GB per month. It is still behind many countries in the Ookla Speedtest Global Index (mean) for May 2022. The data shows India’s position at 125 in the mean global mobile speed performance index. while India stands at 79 in the mean global fixed broadband performance index.
The union minister has also assured that there is no need to be concerned about Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) radiation from 5G towers as India has “more stringent” norms than any other country. The government will be auctioning spectrum totalling 72GHz will be auctioned across several frequency bands, including 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz.