DoT Starts Work Towards the Next 5G Spectrum Auction

When exactly will the auction take place is unclear. It is unlikely to happen in 2023, but it can definitely be in the books during the first half of 2024. It is worth noting that while the next spectrum auction may get some excited, the truth is, a high bidding intensity would likely not be there.

Highlights

  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has started working towards the next 5G spectrum auction.
  • The previous 5G spectrum auction took place in mid-2022.
  • The bidding intensive for the airwaves is likely going to be very low in the next spectrum auction for 5G airwaves.

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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has started working towards the next 5G spectrum auction. To recall, the previous 5G spectrum auction took place in mid-2022. That was the first 5G spectrum auction for India. The telcos have already rolled out 5G in many parts of the country. With another round of spectrum auctions, they will get access to more airwaves to improve 5G services and roll it out in more places. The telecom department has sent a reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) asking for reserve prices for various spectrum bands that could be valued at over 2.5 lakh crore.




Read More - Jio Likely to Start Monetising 5G with FWA Serivce

The development has been reported by ET first. As per the report, the telecom department is planning to include airwaves ranging from 600 MHz to 37 GHz in the next 5G spectrum auction. The 6 GHz airwaves would not be included as the debate for it is still ongoing. The reference will be examined carefully by the telecom regulator and then TRAI will come out with a consultation paper related to it in the coming weeks.

When exactly will the auction take place is unclear. It is unlikely to happen in 2023, but it can definitely be in the books during the first half of 2024. It is worth noting that while the next spectrum auction may get some excited, the truth is, a high bidding intensity would likely not be there. This is because only two players in the market are rolling out 5G - Airtel and Jio.

Read More - Is 5G FWA the Golden Ticket for Telcos to Monetise 5G

Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Adani Data Networks have not yet utilised the spectrum they acquired during the 2022 auctions, thus, it doesn't make sense for them to go for fresh airwaves in the next auction. Also, Airtel and Jio also got most of the airwaves they wanted for 5G rollout during the 2022 auctions. Thus, the bidding intensive for the airwaves is likely going to be very low in the next spectrum auction for 5G airwaves.

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Tanuja is a passionate technology and telecom buff who has been following the telecom industry for several years now.

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