India is expected to start rolling out the first of its commercial 5G offerings by the end of 2020

India’s Department of Telecoms has said that it will not be in a position to hold further 5G spectrum auctions until at least the second half of 2019, according to a report in the Economic Times of India. 

"The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has given preliminary recommendations. However, the (5G) task force has given broader set of spectrum bands. The Department of Telecom (DoT) is concurrently working on both," telecoms secretary, Aruna Sundararajan, told the Economic Times. 

“DoT will be ready to hold spectrum auction in the second half of 2019,” she added.

The announcement brings to a close rumours of another spectrum auction in India, before the close of the current financial year.

Earlier this year, the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) announced plans to slash spectrum prices at auction in an attempt to stimulate demand among the country’s beleaguered telcos. The government has also pledged to create favourable conditions for investment from the private sector, as it looks to attract $100 billion of inbound investment.  

India remains one of the toughest markets in which to turn a profit, as ultra-low-cost data tariffs and handsets continue to take their toll on telcos’ profit margins.

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