The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sent show-cause letters to Adani Data Networks, a division of the Adani Group, and Vodafone Idea (Vi) asking them to explain why they shouldn't be penalized for not meeting the Minimum Rollout Obligations (MRO) associated with 5G spectrum in India. According to a FE Report, the DoT has also given notifications to both providers requesting them to provide the rationale behind the 5G rollout delay as well as the dates by which they would begin offering services.
According to the article, officials suggested that Vodafone Idea might have to pay a charge of roughly Rs 14 crore, while Adani Data Networks might have to pay a fine of about Rs 5–6 crore.
Not even in a single city across the nation have either company introduced 5G services for sale. As an alternative to consumer mobility, Adani Data Networks intends to use its spectrum for private captive networks, which will use it for data usage in ports and logistics, power generation, etc.
Over a year has passed and neither provider has fulfilled its agreements, which included launching commercial 5G services in both metro and non-metro circles within the first year.
Vodafone Idea stated in August 2023 that it had made only minor expenditures in two of the 17 circles, but that it had not yet begun offering services for sale. Vodafone Idea has not yet made any formal announcements regarding 5G.
Adani Data Networks paid Rs 212 crore to get the right to utilize 400MHz of spectrum in the 26 GHz (millimeter waves) band in the July 2022 spectrum auctions. Adani has purchased spectrum in six circles, where it has business interests: Andhra Pradesh (50 MHz), Gujarat (100 MHz), Karnataka (50 MHz), Mumbai (100 MHz), Rajasthan (50 MHz), and Tamil Nadu (50 MHz).
In India, the only companies providing commercial 5G services at the moment are Airtel and Jio. Jio just announced that the rollout of 5G across the nation is finished ahead of schedule, while Airtel has already said that it will be completed by March 2024. Jio recently announced that their 5G network was now available throughout India and that over 90 million people were using it. According to industry estimates, the aggregate number of 5G subscribers on the Airtel and Jio networks exceeds 150 million.