The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended including airwaves in the following spectrum bands in the upcoming 5G spectrum auction — 526-698 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300- 3670 MHz and 24.25-28.5 GHz. The regulatory body said that all the spectrum unsold in the previous auction will also be made available to the telcos in the 5G auction.
But the big thing to note here is the price cut that TRAI has implemented on the airwaves. According to the recommendations released by the regulatory, a price cut of 40% has been recommended on the coveted 700 MHz band while a 36% price cut has been recommended for the mid-band spectrum (3300 MHz – 3670 MHz).
TRAI Recommends Easier Terms for Telcos to Pay for Spectrum
To boost the growth of the telecom industry further, TRAI has recommended that telcos should be allowed easy payment terms to pay for the spectrum. The regulator said that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) should undertake a harmonisation exercise in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, and 1800 MHz bands immediately.
Further, for the mid-bands, TRAI has recommended that both n77 and n78 bands be included and the telcos should be given the flexibility to adopt any of these band plans as per their business requirements.
For the spectrum in the 3300-3670 MHz, TRAI has recommended a block size of 10 MHz and for the premium airwaves in the 24.25-28.5 GHz bands, the regulator has recommended a 50 MHz block. In addition to this, TRAI said the telcos should be given the spectrum in a contiguous manner.
In the sub-1 GHz bands, TRAI has recommended a combined spectrum cap of 40% along with a 40% cap in 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, and 2500 MHz bands. For the mid-band as well the premium airwaves in the 24.25-28.5 GHz band would be capped at 40% as well.
The sector regulator said that airwaves in the 526-612 MHz bands should not be auctioned right now as they are being used by the ministry of I&B (MIB). The 3GPP/ITU has also not yet determined the use of frequencies in the 526-612 MHz band.