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5G spectrum auction most probably in February 2022: Telecom minister


NEW DELHI: The 5G spectrum The auctions “most likely” will take place in February 2022, and the government may even try to set a schedule for January, telecommunications minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Wednesday.
Speaking to PTI, Vaishnaw said the cabinet-approved telecom reform package is adequate for the survival of existing players, adding that with more reforms and more structural changes underway, “more players should come.”
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a highly successful aid package for the stressed telecommunications sector that includes a four-year break for companies to pay legal fees, permission to share scarce radio waves, a change in the definition of income on which levies are paid and 100 percent. Foreign investment through the automatic route.
“Today’s reform package is good enough to ensure competition, it is definitely good enough for the survival of the players and to make sure this is a healthy sector where competition remains strong … I honestly think that once we make a few more changes, there in the pipeline, more players will come, “Vaishnaw said.
“We do not intend to stop,” the minister said, underscoring the government’s firm determination to press ahead with reforms, in order to ensure the solid health of the telecommunications sector.
The telecommunications minister further said that he had spoken with all the key players in the sector after Wednesday’s briefing and that companies are happy with the comprehensive set of measures that have been announced.
“The big three players feel that this was absolutely what was needed,” the minister said.
Asked about 5G spectrum auction schedules, the minister said will be carried out during the last quarter of this fiscal.
“Most likely in February 2022 … I think by January we can also try that,” Vaishnaw said.

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