Will ensure 5G services remain affordable, Center says

The government said on Thursday it expects 5G services to be rolled out in the country by October 12, and the Center will ensure prices are affordable for consumers.

Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said installations are underway and telecom operations are busy rolling out 5G services seamlessly.

The government will ensure that 5G plans remain affordable to the public, the minister said.

The government has also introduced the “Indian Telegraph Right of Way (Amendment) Rules, 2022” along with the launch of the 5G Right to Work (RoW) application form on the GatiShakti Sanchar portal.

The Indian Telegraph Right of Way (Amendment) Rules 2022 will help the industry accelerate the proliferation of digital infrastructure, small cell deployment, aerial fiber and street furniture.

There is provision for small cells, utility poles, access to street furniture, etc. introduced for easy and smooth deployment of 5G networks.

5G services would be rolled out gradually and in the first phase, 13 cities will benefit from 5G internet services.

The cities are Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, GurugramHyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.

Just like 3G and 4G, telcos will soon announce dedicated 5G price plans and, according to industry experts, consumers may pay more to access 5G services on their devices.

Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea are currently tight-lipped, deliberating internally on whether to opt for a substantial or modest price hike for end users, as well as talks about providing lucrative data bundling deals with smartphone makers when the 5G rollout takes better shape, the sources say.

However, price plans will decrease as usage increases, and more people will adopt 5G networks, especially in metros where the initial demand will come.

An immediate price war with the launch of 5G is unlikely, but it “will be competitive as India continues to be a price-conscious market”.

A recent report from nomura Global Markets Research estimated that telecommunications service providers would have two options: either a modest 4% price increase on their overall subscriber base, or a 30% premium on 4G plans of 1.5 GB per day.

“Historically, Indian telecom companies have refrained from charging a premium for 4G plans (vs 2G/3G data plans). Companies to charge a premium for 5G (vs 4G), in our view,” said said Nomura in his report. “5G price plans would be a controllable key in the short term, and premium 5G (vs 4G) could provide the next stage of ARPU (average revenue per unit) increase for telecom companies,” he said. added.

Another Goldman Sachs Equity Research report mentioned that 5G rollouts have not resulted in “significant increases in capital spending for telecom companies globally, and it predicts a similar trend in India.”

Airtel CTO Randeep Sekhon recently said in reports that globally there is no major difference between 5G and 4G tariffs.

“We expect 5G plans in India to be similar to 4G tariffs,” he said.

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