4G and 5G Spectrum Auction Still Not in Sight till September Quarter

The Government might not generate enough revenue from Spectrum sale as telcos are facing massive financial distress because of AGR dues

By March 6th, 2020 AT 4:33 PM
  • Government is planning to sale out 8303.05 MHz of 4G and 5G spectrum
  • Telecom operators have criticised the 5G spectrum pricing
  • Reliance might buy back efficient 800 MHz Spectrum

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided to postpone the Spectrum sale as the telco giants such as Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices are facing massive financial stress because of AGR dues. DoT is planning to reschedule their Spectrum Sale before July-September quarter. As per the sources of ET, the department is analysing the self-assessed dues submitted by telcos as their AGR estimates are significantly lower than the original estimates done by DoT. As per DoT, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have to pay Rs 53,000 crore and Rs 35,000 crore respectively towards AGR dues. However, Vodafone Idea has self-estimated their AGR dues worth Rs 23,000. Similarly, Bharti Airtel has self-assessed their dues and noted that its self-assessed AGR dues are not exceeding Rs 18,000 crore.

4G 5G spectrum

Government Might Not Generate Enough Profits from Spectrum Sale

As per market specialists, the Government might not be able to generate more than Rs 40,000 crore as the telecom operators are still occupied with massive AGR dues. Vodafone Idea has also marked that they will be forced to shut down operations if the Government gives no relief. However, analysts marked that Government might not be able to hold back spectrum sale for long as some of the 4G airwaves will expire and telecom operators will have to repurchase airwaves in order to offer services. Currently, Government is planning to sale out 8303.05 MHz of 4G and 5G spectrum which will generate approximately Rs 5.23 Lakh crore only if all of the airwaves are sold out at the base price.

5G Spectrum Pricing Criticised by Telecom Operators

The 5G pricing offered by the Government is being criticised by telecom operators. Vodafone Idea which is worst hit by AGR dues might participate in a limited manner in the spectrum auction. Whereas, Bharti Airtel is planning to skip the 5G Spectrum sale as prices are unrealistic and high. Reliance Jio is the only telecom operator who is planning to buy some of the 5G airwaves. Also, the only profitable telco in India is planning to buy back Reliance Communications efficient 800 MHz Spectrum, which is expected to expire by August 2021 quarter.

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

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Kiran Fernandes | GoaSaketThamilan daakrishVikas Recent comment authors
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with closure of all operators there is no competition in telecom space. now govt will be forced to reduce spectrum fees. else no one will bid for 5g spectrum.


I used to get 15-20Mbps in Jio. But from last 3-4 months , it never goes beyond 2Mbps. is it related to spectrum issue.? I know userbase has increased so speed is decreasing day by day

Airtel 4G | JioFi | Vodafone 2G
Tata Sky
Thamilan daa
Thamilan daa

Vikas :
Thats India man – technologically slum country.

Kiran Fernandes | Goa
Kiran Fernandes | Goa

What do you think? The more people who use 4G from one operator in an area will use more bandwidth thus slowing down the network. It’s basic common sense. Jio has less spectrum in the lower bands, 3 and 5 which give a large range. Thus there’s a lot of congestion in those bands. In the cities, wherever there’s too many people, there’s congestion as band 40 can only provide so much bandwidth to a certain set of people. They need to add multiple small cells across the city for providing seamless coverage and capacity.

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