Modi govt 2.0: Data protection law to be top priority, 5G spectrum auction this year

By: |
New Delhi | Updated: June 4, 2019 7:03:34 AM

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has submitted its recommendations on pricing of spectrum, which includes airwaves for 5G. As per Trai pricing, one MHz of 5G spectrum will cost `492 crore, which is much higher if compared with recent auctions in South Korea and other countries.

Modi govt, Data protection law, Data protection law modi, auction of spectrum, 5G bands 2019, 2G, auction spectrum

Newly-appointed communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday talked about a need for more synergies between telecom and the IT ministries in order to achieve an inclusive Digital India. Prasad said the auction of spectrum for various bands, including that for 5G, will be conducted in the current calendar year. However, the minister observed there is a set process for pricing spectrum and did not comment on whether prices will be lowered for 5G airwaves.

Prasad, who also assumed the charge of the IT ministry, said the government would prioritise the notification of the data protection law as also the revised social media rules. The minister said social media companies were welcome to operate in the country but needed to follow Indian rules.

Asked about the stress in the telecom industry, Prasad said he would soon have consultations with the industry as well as officials in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) before taking any view on the matter. The industry has been going through financial stress and has repeatedly sought a reduction in levies and licence fees.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has submitted its recommendations on pricing of spectrum, which includes airwaves for 5G. As per Trai pricing, one MHz of 5G spectrum will cost `492 crore, which is much higher if compared with recent auctions in South Korea and other countries.

The minister said trials for 5G will start in 100 days. Asked if the government has taken a decision regarding Huawei and its participation in 5G trials, Prasad said, “That is a matter to be looked into seriously, including the security aspects, before we take a formal view on it. It is not a matter of only technology as far as participation in 5G trials is concerned.”

Regarding revival of BSNL and MTNL, he said there should be a healthy public sector player in the telecom sector and the government is working on various revival measures. He, however, also asked the state-run telecom firms to behave professionally.

About initiatives in the ministry, Prasad said 1 lakh digital villages will be set up in the country. Apart from that, there will be 10 Aadhaar seva kendras, which will be increased to 57 in future. The Aadhaar kendras will be on the lines of passport seva kendras.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.