Airtel & Idea Say No Need for Holding Spectrum Auctions Now

In separate written submissions to the telecom regulator’s consultation paper on spectrum auction, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular said that there’s no need now for holding spectrum auctions or even its consultation process in the current scenario where the industry is seeing declining profits and revenue due to intense competition.


Vodafone, on the other hand, said that timing of auctions should take into account the financial situation of the industry and the ongoing consolidation.

According to a PTI report, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio urged the regulator to bring long-term visibility for telcos so that they can plan better for auctions, adding that the telecom department should provide a forward-looking timeframe for availability of spectrum for the next 10 years across multiple bands. The 4G entrant, however, said that the auction schedule may be drawn up at the discretion of the regulator and the government, and has also suggested that reserve price should be reduced by 50 percent across all spectrum bands.

Jio has again asked the authority to get rid of the 50 percent in-band spectrum cap, saying that spectrum, which is typically auctioned, is now technology neutral.

The Sunil Mittal-led telco, in its submission, said that the best time for holding the sale of airwaves would be the end of 2018-19, adding that the consultation process on auction and pricing of spectrum should be initiated between September to December 2018. “We believe, if the auction is conducted in the near future, then it would not result in the realisation of the full value of proposed spectrum put to auction,” Airtel was quoted as saying by the newswire service.

The Aditya Birla Group telco, Idea, termed the ongoing spectrum consultation process “inappropriate”, adding that there is no business case for the acquisition of any more spectrum. It further said that telcos are finding it difficult to fund even existing spectrum payments amid the current industry scenario of “below-cost pricing” and “hyper-competition”.

Idea said that the business case made out earlier for the spectrum won in previous auctions has already failed.

Airtel has also urged the regulator for reduction of SUC charge to a uniform 1 percent of revenue across all the spectrum bands, saying that the SUC has added substantial financial burden on the industry.

The top telco asked the regulator to bring down the reserve price for the 700 MHz band to the level of 800 MHz bands.

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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Geetampreet Singh

Even if the auction is there, no one will be much interested in it. Jio and Airtel are having appropriate spectrum, while Idea and Vodafone will cross the above two after merger.
The smaller players are not in position to acquire any additional spectrum even if they want to.
So the conclusion, there’s no need of auction right now.

Kirti Khurana

Jio needs spectrum in 1800 & 850 bands

Kirti Khurana

Jio is leavin lacking spectrum in lower bands


Govt must allow all the operators to liberalise their spectrum.

Sanjit Roy, Thakurnagar, wb

government already did it and offered every possible ways to liberalize their existing non liberalized spectrum, now it depends which operator wish to liberalize it or not. Last year rcom liberalized it’s 850mhz band and later they traded it to jio. You know what that’s why once I called you the removable memory.


Then why is BSNL not changing its 2G 900 MHz to 3G 900 MHz and 3G 2100 MHz to 4G 2100 MHz?.

Why is Airtel not converting its 1800 MHz 2G spectrum fully for 4G and keep its 3G 2100 MHz for 3G itself?.


Airtel is converting it’s B3 to 4G in Punjab and as far as BSNL is concerned, you know why…


Bsnl will loose it’s 2g only voice base . More then 60% users are feature phone users that is voice only & most of them are price sensitive . If bsnl takes the lead among competition & liberalise the 900 mhz spectrum , then most feature phone users will move to other network providing 2g voice. People will not buy new handsets for 4g network , unless the handsets are dead & paisa vasool. Avoid & bsnl want to reduce cost & move to 4g only volte network , which will bring them on equal platform with jio (cost wise).… Read more »

Girish Gowda

Since you’re the BSNL mouthpiece of TT, you have to answer your own stupid questions,

Kirti Khurana

bsnl & Aircel are serving majority of low cost handsets 2G customers, that’s why aircel decided to sell their 4G spectrum.

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