TRAI Releases Recommendations on Reserve Price for Auction of Spectrum in the 800 MHz Band

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today released its recommendation for base price for upcoming 800 MHz CDMA spectrum auction. The regulator recommends that the reserve price for the forthcoming auction of 800 MHz spectrum should be fixed at 80% of the average valuation.

TRAI

In terms of  the quantum of spectrum to be put for auction, TRAI suggested that the entire spectrum in the 800 MHz band available with the DoT should be put-up to auction.

The telecom regulator also said that  at least one chunk of contiguous 5 MHz spectrum (i.e. 4 carriers) should be carved out before the auction and the purpose of making 5 MHz contiguous is to facilitate the adoption of newer technologies. Not only, would it pave the way for the adoption of newer technologies like HSPA, HSPA+, LTE, LTE-A etc to achieve better efficiencies and throughputs in the 800 MHz band but also enable the Government to realise the optimal value of the spectrum.

Summary of the TRAI Recommendations on 800Mhz Spectrum Auction :

  • The DoT should take back from MTNL its entire spectrum holding in the 800 MHz band,
  • BSNL should be allowed to retain only one CDMA carrier in all the LSAs except in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and North-East LSAs, where it can retain both the carriers. The DoT should take back other carriers assigned to BSNL in the 800 MHz band.
  • The entire available spectrum with the DoT in the 800 MHz band should be put to auction.
  • At least one chunk of contiguous 5 MHz spectrum (i.e. 4 carriers) should be carved out before the auction. The carrier reassignment, if required, may be carried out amongst the existing TSPs in the 800 MHz band to make at least 4 contiguous carriers available. Alternatively, the NIA for the auction may clearly stipulate that only contiguous blocks of 5 MHz will be sold. However, the reconfiguration of the frequencies should be worked out while auction is underway so that the reassignment is possible to be effected on completion of the auction.
  • Spectrum in the 800 MHz band should be auctioned in a block size of 1.25 MHz.
  • A new entrant i.e. a TSP which does not have any spectrum holding in the 800 MHz band must bid for a minimum of 4 carriers. However, an existing TSP i.e. a TSP having some spectrum holding in the 800 MHz band should be permitted to bid for a minimum 1 block of spectrum. New entrants must be assigned the earmarked contiguous carriers only.
  • The Authority recommends that the reserve price for the forthcoming auction of 800 MHz spectrum should be fixed at 80% of the average valuation.

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  • RanganathanRajagopalan February 23, 2014 7:07 am

    800 MHz would have more reach and penetration than 900 , 1800 or 2300 MHz. Cheers

  • imahesh February 22, 2014 11:43 pm

    MTS is Verizon of India.
    but MTS need to be prove it by better using EVDO with cheap mobile plan as well as handset.
    EVDO is better than GSM 3G specially for DATA CARD user.

  • Manoj Abhigyan February 22, 2014 11:25 pm

    The government on Thursday announced long-awaited M&A rules for the telecom industry that raised the cap on the market share of a merged entity in a circle to 50% from 35% earlier.
    Why not any post regarding this on our beloved Telecomtalk.

  • Yogesh February 22, 2014 8:22 pm

    Will this 800 MHz be made technology neutral? Or limit to CDMA only? As already Tata returned CDMA 800MHz excess spectrum of 15 circles,will they ( tata ) re purchase them? As said MTNL too return spectrum,n as per news Tata n Reliance both want to exit CDMA,then Who will bid ? Only MTS ? Any chance of virgin mobile to return n verizon to enter ? Experts, please reply.

    • SS February 22, 2014 9:26 pm

      Yes that spectrum will be tech neutral but its most suitable for CDMA technology and i think it will be a good oportunity for new entrant with the price is kept reasonable.

      Now your questions:-
      Tata exiting CDMA?
      Yes, they are exiting telecom sector completely.

      RCOM exiting CDMA?
      Yes, they don’t want to invest in CDMA.

      MTS only left?
      Yes, they may look for get back to pan india.

      Virgin Mobile?
      Ummm…… Virgin Mobile, like Vodafone has no interest in CDMA technology.

      Verizon?
      haha…….. Little probability.

      • Yogesh February 22, 2014 9:48 pm

        Thank you sir.

      • Raghu February 23, 2014 12:52 am

        yes then what will happen to existing CDMA customers of reliance if they do not invest as compared to GSM, CDMA is much better as far as reliance is concerned.

        • RIVU February 23, 2014 4:02 pm

          TATA has already surrendered substantial part of CDMA spectrum and their voice customers are getting automatic roaming on MTS

          • aditya February 23, 2014 7:07 pm

            Hi,
            I am from mumbai and using tata indicom cdma . So what if tata exits cdma business . Balance in my tata phone is rs1000 as just an alternate no. For namesake. What should i do now. What will happen next someone will take over