India's Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will auction airwaves in fifth generation, or "5G," and other bands and begin trials in the next 100 days.
The decision to auction airwaves assumes significance as the sale proceeds are a major source of revenue for the state exchequer.
There was no auction in financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19. The government had in 2016-17 raised 65,789 crore Indian Rupees (around 9.4 billion US dollars), a fraction of the 5.63 trillion Indian Rupees (around 80 billion US dollars) worth of spectrum it had put up for sale.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had in August recommended to the DoT, auctioning of 20MHz blocks in the 3300-3600 MHz spectrum band, the airwaves earmarked for 5G, at 492 crore Indian Rupees per MHz.
In a bid to tackle issues related with data security, the country's government has formed a committee, comprising of senior officials from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), External Affairs Ministry, Home Ministry (Internal Security), the Cyber Security Wing, besides the ministries of Information Technology, and Telecom.
Meanwhile, Chinese company Huawei gave its full commitment regarding compliance of data security. English daily "The Times of India" quoted Huawei India's Chief Operating Officer (CEO) Jay Chen as saying - "All the data that Huawei India handles is stored locally. The company is in compliance with all rules and regulations."