All the private telecom operators in India are going to benefit from the fact that there are fewer players participating in the spectrum auction for the C-band spectrum. In the pre-Jio era, there were many operators fighting for a limited quantum of the spectrum, which resulted in bidding wars. But this time, there are only three private telcos, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi), who will be purchasing fresh C-band spectrum from the government.
There will be no bidding war this time as there is 370 MHz of spectrum available in the 3300-3670 MHz band, and since there are only three private telcos out of which only two are expected to spend big, there won’t be any worries of price inflation due to bidding. C-band airwaves are going to be the attraction during this spectrum auction as they are crucial for the 5G rollout.
All the telecom operators have been working and developing use cases of the 5G network on the 3.3-3.6 GHz spectrum provided by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for trial purposes.
Easy Payment Terms a Big Bonus for Telcos
The easy payment terms will be a big bonus for the telecom operators. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended an easier payment option with 30 equal annual instalments. This would help the telcos in avoiding any big cash outflow scenarios due to spectrum payments.
The regulator said that the companies would have two options. In the first option, they can either make a full or partial upfront payment within ten days of auction completion. For upfront payment, the buyer will have a moratorium for a proportionate period of payment, and the remaining balance can be paid in equal instalments over the remaining period. In the second option, the buyer can make payments in 30 equal instalments of the total bid value.
In its recommendations, TRAI asked the government to avoid auctioning 526-612 MHz of airwaves as it is currently in use by the I&B (MIB).