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Spectrum auction: India receives bids amounting to Rs 77,146 crore in Day 1

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NEW DELHI: India’s first auction of spectrum in five years attracted Rs 77,146 crore of bids on the opening day on Monday with Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea participating in the bidding process – a response that the government said was better than expected.

There were, however, no takers for spectrum in 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands on the first day, and the auctions will continue and conclude on Tuesday.

About 2,308.80 MHz of spectrum, that carry telecom signals, in seven bands worth nearly Rs 4 lakh crore at the reserve or start price, was offered for bidding in the auction that began on Monday.

Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Rs 77,146 crore worth of spectrum was bid on the first day but there were no takers for the airwaves in the premium 700 MHz as also 2500 MHz bands.

The response from players and the bids received surpassed government’s internal estimates, that had anticipated bids worth Rs 45,000 crore.

“The winning bids that have come till 6 PM today is Rs 77,146 crore. We thought since there are only three players, and spectrum replacement is happening…our estimation was that the bids will touch about Rs 45,000 crore, but it is a matter of assurance that it has gone as high as Rs 77,146 crore,” Prasad said.

The bidder-wise details were not available immediately. A total of 2,308.80 MHz spectrum is being put to auction, out of which there have been bids for 849.20 MHz so far, an official release said.

Bids were received in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz bands, as players gave the prized 700 MHz band a miss on the first day of auctions.

“Total value of spectrum put to auction was about Rs 4 lakh crore. In this, 700 MHz band was a costly band, and that cost itself is Rs 1.97 lakh crore,” the minister said adding that the government will take a call on 700 MHz band, used for 5G, in case it remains unsold in the ongoing auctions.

Excluding 700 MHz and 2500 Mhz bands, the bidding accounted for 60 per cent of the spectrum that was put to auction.

The 700 MHz band went unsold during the 2016 auctions, too. During 2016, when there were seven bidders, the spectrum sold was 41 per cent by quantity and 12 per cent by value of the total spectrum put to auction. The corresponding figures in the 2021 spectrum auction so far are 37 per cent and 19 per cent respectively, with three participants.

Spectrum will be offered for assignment for a validity period of 20 years. Successful bidders can pay entire bid amount in one go (upfront), or exercise an option to pay a certain amount (25 per cent for spectrum won in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz bands or 50 per cent for spectrum won in 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz bands) upfront with remaining amount in a maximum up to 16 equated annual instalments, after a moratorium of two years.

The government will get Rs 12,000-13,000 crore in the current financial year and nearly the same amount is expected in the next fiscal.

“Not only from Government’s revenue point but also customer point of view, it assures us that more spectrum which has been bid, will lead to better services,” Prasad said. The first day of auctions saw four rounds, first two rounds at 80 per cent activity levels and thereafter at 90 per cent activity levels.

Asked which players had bid aggressively, the minister said that the government has consciously devised a mechanism where it keeps away from the auction process while the bidding is on, and e-auctioneer conducts the process in the most transparent manner.

On about future course for 700 MHz band, where players have maintained that prices are exorbitantly high, Prasad said, “the legal requirement is that once there is no auction in a band, Government will have to go to TRAI for recommendation of fresh price.”

The auction is being held in the backdrop of the pandemic which has impacted economic activity, he said.

“There was a stress we cannot deny that, and in spite of that the auction is showing encouraging results. This is an assurance,” Prasad said.

The auctions for 5G spectrum “should happen in the next financial year”, Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash said noting that many of the companies may have also set aside some reserves for 5G auctions.

India would like to have a robust 5G mechanism in place, and would encourage innovative Made-in-India products by domestic companies.

“Very soon, we will be coming up with a good ecosystem for 5G trials as well. As far as spectrum is concerned, we will make proper announcement at an appropriate time, and it will not be very late,” Prasad said.

On whether or not Chinese vendors will be allowed to participate in 5G, the minister said the norms are already in place and the government will proceed accordingly to the rules laid down.

In the 800 MHz, spectrum sold was 65 per cent, in 900 Mhz (38 per cent), 1800 MHz (41 per cent), 2100 MHz (9 per cent), and 2300 MHz (89 per cent).

“Although in 800 MHz, the spectrum sold is 65 per cent of what is available, contribution of this band to total kitty is about 50 per cent so it is more expensive,” Prakash said.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Vi showcases 5G

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NEW DELHI: Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), leading telecom operator, today demonstrated a range of 5G-based technology solutions as part of its ongoing 5G trials on government allocated 5G spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

According to Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited, “With our 5G trials underway, Vi is preparing to take India on the next journey of fifth generation wireless mobile communication technology. Our 5G trials showcase a whole new world of possibilities across various domains that promise a new era of technology advancement in India. I am confident that 5G will bring a better tomorrow that will deliver significant benefits to consumers, businesses and society, driving digital economy growth in India.”

With the purpose for a better tomorrow, Vi has been conducting 5G trials and developed a wide range of use cases relevant for Enterprises and Consumers in India. Vi has partnered with industry leaders like L&T Smart World & Communication, Athonet, Indian start-ups like Vizzbee & Tweek Labs, and technology leaders – Ericsson and Nokia for trialling use cases in the two locations.

Committed to helping its customers thrive and have a better tomorrow, Vi is leveraging the power of 5G technology across segments such as industry 4.0, smart cities, smart healthcare, smart workplace, smart education, smart agriculture, gaming, amongst others. Vi’s trials have proven that high data speed, low latency and reliability of 5G technology, can bring about massive developments by enhancing business performance, revolutionizing customer experience, changing consumer lifestyle and positively impacting people dwelling in remote corners of India.

Vi has been allocated 26 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum in the mmWave band by the DoT, for 5G network trials and use cases. Vi has achieved peak speeds in excess of 1.5 Gbps on 3.5 GHz, more than 4.2 Gbps on 26 GHz and up to 9.8 Gbps on backhaul spectrum of E-bands.

The 5G trial network set up by Vi in Pune, deploys Ericsson Radios and Ericsson Dual Mode Core based on cloud native technology comprising of 5G SA, 5G NSA & LTE packet core functions. All use cases demonstrated in Pune have been developed over Ericsson’s 5G technology solutions.

In Gandhinagar, Vi is using Nokia’s AirScale radio portfolio and Microwave E-band solution for the trial that support enterprises, both large and small and medium businesses with reliable connectivity. Vi use cases in Gandhinagar were demonstrated via a live telecast at the special media preview held in Pune.

 

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Lockheed Martin And Keysight Test 5G Solutions For Aerospace And Defense Communications

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NEW DELHI: Lockheed Martin, a global security and aerospace company, and Keysight Technologies, a leading provider of 5G solutions, have announced a collaboration to advance 5G in support of mission-critical communications for aerospace and defense applications.

The companies are actively collaborating on a 5G.MIL™ testbed that Lockheed Martin teams will use to advance 5G capabilities for multiple applications.

“Lockheed Martin is leveraging expertise in the commercial sector to scale, adapt and integrate 5G technology rapidly and affordably across mission-critical operations across land, sea, air, space and cyber domains,” said Dan Rice, vice president for 5G.MIL Programs at Lockheed Martin. “Keysight’s end-to-end 5G test platforms, widely used commercially, provide an opportunity to develop customized solutions that meet the stringent requirements of the defense industry.”

5G brings high-speed data rates, connection density, trustworthiness and low latencies to wireless communications networks. The collaboration advances Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL vision to support secure and resilient connectivity for defense and national security applications. It also aims to adapt commercial 5G technology to meet tactical communications needs in terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks operated by the Department of Defense. Working with Keysight on automated test cases to evaluate cyber security and vulnerabilities across all 5G components and interfaces, Lockheed Martin is also able to determine the cyber resiliency of its 5G-enabled solutions across the lifecycle – from development through operations.

“Deployment of future-proof, seamless and secure communication links serving operations across ground, sea and air depends on the successful integration of 5G, satellite, unmanned aerial vehicle, artificial intelligence and cloud technologies,” said Vince Nguyen, general manager for Aerospace Defense Government Solutions at Keysight Technologies.

“Leveraging Keysight’s portfolio of flexible, scalable, and fully automated test, measurement, verification and optimization tools, Lockheed Martin has implemented the most advanced testbed for 5G and hybrid networks that we have seen in the aerospace and defense industry,” he added.

The testbed, which reached initial operational capability in July, will help Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL teams quickly verify interoperability and performance with a wide range of 5G assets and simulate reliable and secure communications. Since that time, both companies have worked together to emulate, test and validate 5G Open Radio Access Network and Non-Terrestrial Network communications. Through a strategic collaboration memorandum of understanding, the companies will incorporate additional capabilities to support emerging research and development needs and to remain current with the latest 5G advancements and beyond.

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L&T Technology Services chosen by NVIDIA and Mavenir as engineering partner

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NEW DELHI: L&T Technology Services Limited has announced that it has been selected as an engineering partner by Mavenir and NVIDIA, to accelerate adoption of the industry’s first converged AI-on-5G.

LTTS will support Mavenir with customization, integration and deployment of AI applications for deployment on NVIDIA’s AI-on-5G Platform

AI is already transforming many industries across the globe. When combined with the power of 5G networks, the two technologies will enable powerful new use cases in a quick, secure, and cost-effective manner.

NVIDIA’s AI-on-5G platform is a unified platform that brings together developments at the edge to accelerate the digital transformation of enterprises across all industries. 5G provides the underlying connectivity for billions of devices, extending AI’s reach to all connected objects and enabling new use cases and new markets. AI-on-5G is supported by a large ecosystem of partners offering a range of GPU-optimized applications and by NVIDIA SDKs, toolkits, and APIs.

Abhishek Sinha, Chief Operating Officer & Member of the Board, L&T Technology Services said, “5G and AI are two inseparably linked technologies – both poised to significantly improve the performance of applications and solutions and enabling huge amounts of data to be processed in real-time. We are delighted to support NVIDIA and Mavenir on this transformative initiative to offer powerful AI solutions that unlock the true potential of 5G.”

Soma Velayutham, Industry General Manager, AI & 5G, NVIDIA said, “NVIDIA is building platforms to bring the power of AI to the edge to support enterprise transformation. LTTS’ expertise in digital engineering will help accelerate the adoption of AI-on-5G platforms at the edge globally.”

BG Kumar, President, Communication Services Business Group, Mavenir said, “With the recent launch of Mavenir’s Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA), Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and Enterprises can take advantage of seamless, hyperconverged AI-on-5G applications enabled by Mavenir’s deep knowledge in AI coupled with broad solutions expertise serving a diverse customer base. Selecting L&T Technology Services as an engineering partner will enable the technology to reach organizations on a global level and unleash the endless possibilities provided by 5G.”

 

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