Government of India is speeding up the sale of the 4G spectrum which is worth more than Rs 4 lakh crore. The statement was announced by a senior government official. Earlier, the government deferred the sale of 5G spectrum to 2021 and focused on the auction of 4G airwaves. As reported by ET Telecom, the draft is being prepared to fasten up the sale of the 4G spectrum, and it is expected that it will be presented to the cabinet as early as next month. Since the telecom industry is facing financial distress due to Covid-19 pandemic, the auction proceeds from the sale of the 4G spectrum will help the government to revive the sector.
Telecom Operators Have Pushed Government for Early 4G Spectrum Sale
Since the government has announced the lockdown period to combat the deadly virus, people have been working from home and relying on a stable network connection for their entertainment purposes. The demand for stable data and voice services has increased drastically. To cater to the growing demand of subscribers, telecom service providers Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm have pushed the government for an early 4G spectrum sale. Since the airwaves permit of telcos at some places are expiring soon, an initial sale of 4G spectrum sale will help the telecom operators under challenging times. As per a government official, telecom operators have also addressed DoT and stated that they need the airwaves as soon as possible.
Government Will Offer 2,475 Mhz Spectrum to Telecom Operators
Since the government of India has deferred the sale of 5G spectrum to 2021, DoT has earmarked the 3300-3600 Mhz band for the 5G airwaves. In the first block of the auction, DoT will offer the 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100Mhz, 2300 Mhz and 2500 Mhz spectrum. However, it is expected that 4G bands 700 Mhz and 800 Mhz can also be used for the development of 5G network in future. As stated by ICRA, the government will offer 2,475 Mhz of the spectrum which is valued at a base price Rs 4.35 lakh crore. ICRA also expects that the government will generate only Rs 20,000 crore or Rs 25,000 crore in upfront payments from the spectrum this financial year. Also, another Rs 20,000 crore is expected from regular receipts license fees and spectrum usage charges.