India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) advised ISPs and mobile operators to vacate spectrum in the 3.3GHz to 3.4GHz band by end-September as the government prepares to auction off airwaves in the 5G candidate band, LiveMint reported.
DoT gave existing licensees of the spectrum – including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications (RCom), Tata Communications and Dishnet Wireless (part of Aircel group) – six months to free up the band, noting existing licences will not be renewed. The 3.4GHz band is expected to be one of the first mobile operators use to launch 5G services.
RCom announced plans to shutter major parts of its wireless business in November 2017. An Airtel representative said it surrendered its spectrum in the band, Livemint reported.
In February, the government announced plans to auction off about 3,000MHz of spectrum across nine frequency bands, potentially its largest auction ever.
The DoT reportedly will release a 5G roadmap by June.