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Why Reliance Jio and VI advocating for a policy to shut down 2G and 3G services in India?

Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea suggest to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) that the government should plan to shut down 2G and 3G networks in India to enhance the development of 5G. Here's what we know so far.

Edited By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Published on: January 30, 2024 11:02 IST
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Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea have suggested to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that the government should create a policy to shut down 2G and 3G networks in India. Both telecom operators argue that moving existing users to 4G and 5G networks would enhance the ecosystem for 5G use cases. The suggestion was in response to TRAI's consultation paper on the barriers hindering the development of the 5G ecosystem.

The Proposal

Reliance Jio stated, "The Government should develop a policy and glide path for closing down the 2G and 3G networks completely so that unnecessary network costs should be avoided, and all customers can be migrated to 4G and 5G services." Vodafone Idea echoed a similar sentiment, emphasising that barriers, like the existence of older networks, contribute to a digital divide and impact the growth of 5G use cases.

Challenges Identified

The main challenges in transitioning users to higher network bandwidths include the prevalence of 2G/3G-capable phones in India and the affordability of 4G and 5G smartphones, especially for rural populations. Vodafone Idea pointed out that the cost of smartphones remains a significant challenge for low-income groups.

Spectrum Allocation

Reliance Jio emphasised the need for a substantial allocation of spectrum bands to implement robust 5G connectivity effectively. They recommended auctioning the 6GHz band, full C-Band, and 28GHz (on a flexible use basis) alongside the planned auction of the E-Band and V-Band spectrum.

It's important to note that these are suggestions made by telecom service providers, and it doesn't guarantee that the government will take immediate action to shut down 2G and 3G networks. If such a decision is pursued, citizens will likely be provided sufficient time and government support to ease the transition.

Inputs from Agencies

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