5G spectrum reserve price may not go down any further in India. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has already cut the price of the airwaves for the telcos. But the price cut was unsatisfactory for the telcos.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had asked TRAI to revisit the airwaves reserve price and reduce it further. According to an ET Telecom report, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is unlikely going to ask the TRAI to reduce the recommended price of the airwaves any further.
A senior DoT official told the publication that by the end of this week or early next week, the DoT would send its communication to TRAI, and it is unlikely to include any concerns around the reserve price of the spectrum.
DCC to Make the Final Call Before Sending the Matter to the Cabinet
The Digital Communications Commission (DCC) will receive the final set of recommendations that come in response to TRAI. After taking a view on the pricing and other things, DCC will send the recommendations to the Cabinet for final approval.
This is a huge blow to the telecom operators who were expecting further price cuts on the reserve price of the airwaves. For the C-band spectrum (3.3-3.67 GHz), TRAI has recommended a 36% price cut and set the base price at Rs 317 crore.
Further, the regulatory body has cut the price of the 700 MHz airwaves by 40% to Rs 3,297 crore per MHz over its previous recommendation.
A thing that’s worth noting here is that TRAI recommended the price on the basis of 20 years. If the telcos want the airwaves for 30 years, they will have to pay 1.5 times the price recommended for airwaves for 20 years.
The industry was looking for a major price cut in line with the global prices for the 5G airwaves. But the government is unlikely to go that way.