5G Auctions Will Feature the 700 MHz Spectrum, But at What Price

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The 700 MHz spectrum band is considered important for the telcos to help out with the 5G rollout in India. However, there were no takers of the 700 MHz airwaves in the recently concluded spectrum auctions because of its high reserve price.

The telcos in the past have asked the sector regulator and the telecom department to revise the prices of the coveted 700 MHz band.

However, according to an ET Telecom report, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) hasn’t taken any action or communicated anything to the regulator about bringing down the price of the 700 MHz band for the 5G rollout.

700 MHz Spectrum Band Saw No Demand Despite 50% Price Cut

During the spectrum auctions in 2016, the price of the 700 MHz spectrum band was set at a whopping Rs 11,854 crore per MHz. Since it saw no demand then, its price was cut by 50% for the recently held auctions to Rs 6,586 crores per MHz.

Despite seeing a 50% price cut, the telcos didn’t show any interest in the 700 MHz bands simply because of its high reserve price.

Even though 5G will rollout will require the 700 MHz band, telcos were wary about spending their money on it. This simply means that the telecom department will have to request Trai for reducing the reserve price of the 700 MHz spectrum band.

It will again be available for the telcos during the upcoming spectrum auctions with 5G airwaves. But for it to sell this time, the sector regulator will have to cut its price down even further.

DoT has further updated the spectrum policy called the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) and added more spectrum across different bands for the telcos to help with a smoother 5G rollout.

Telcos will be happy to hear about the new NFAP policy since more spectrum will help them in rolling out 5G at a more affordable cost for their customers.

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