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Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on 18 June said 5G deployment will commence in 20-25 cities and towns by the year-end, adding it will start from August-September 2022.

The Minister opined as India having data prices significantly lower than global average, it will continue to set rate benchmarks as new services are rolled out.

India is currently developing 4G and 5G stacks, and is set to bolster its position as a trusted source for the world, in digital networks, Vaishnaw said, adding nations are keen to give preference to 4G and 5G products and technologies being developed by India.

The Minister also noted that an important regulation is in the works to address the issue of unsolicited calls. It will enable KYC-identity name of a caller to be displayed, when someone calls, he said.

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On the issue of 5G services, the Minister, while speaking at 'TV9 What India Thinks Today Global Summit', said, "I can say with confidence that 5G deployment will start in at least 20-25 cities and towns by year end."

On pricing for 5G services, Vaishnaw observed that even today data rates in India are at about $2, against global average of $25.

"We are already the lowest in the world, at least by a factor of 10X...10X we are cheaper than the world, that same trend will be in other areas too," he said.

The Minister furthr noted that the world has has taken note of the country's progress, and shown serious interest in the indigenous technologies being developed.

"The telecom network supporting mobile phones has to be a trusted network. India's name is on the top of the list of trusted network providers. When India develops a technology, entire world is interested in it," he said.

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As per estimation, 5G services will usher in high speeds -- about 10 times faster than 4G -- and spawn new-age offerings and business models.

The Centre will auction about 4.3 lakh crore worth of airwaves capable of offering fifth-generation or 5G telecom services, including ultra-high-speed internet. It has also given its nod for setting up of captive 5G networks by the tech firms.

During the 5G auction, set to commence on 26 July, 2022, as much as 72 GHz of spectrum will be put on the block.

On the issue of slow download speeds experienced by customers, the minister pointed out that India's average data consumption at 18 GB per month, exceeds the global average of 11 GB per month.

"India's data consumption is more than what is seen in highly-developed nations. More investments are needed in infrastructure. Massive investments in infrastructure are important in the backdrop of data rates, calls drops, call quality," he said.

Adding more, he pointed out that people in cities like Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai and in other cities, often object to mobile towers installations. Since, Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) radiation norms in India are more stringent than stipulated global limits, there is no reason to be concerned on this aspect, he assured.

With inputs from PTI.

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