Much-Awaited Views on Spectrum Auction Will Be Issued by Trai This Week: RS Sharma

RS Sharma, the Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today stated the telecom regulator is planning to issue its recommendations on spectrum auction and pricing for multiple bands this week. “It will happen immediately…expected to come out this week,” Sharma told PTI. He, however, did not divulge the regulator’s views on the pricing of radio waves, particularly those in premium bands such as 700 MHz where high prices had kept away bidders during the 2016 auctions. Another official aware of the development stated that the much-awaited recommendations about the spectrum pricing including the 4G and 5G bands could be issued as early as tomorrow.


The government is planning to hold the largest-ever spectrum auction of 3,000 MHz spectrum in the next round of sale, and the regulator’s ensuing views will wrap up an almost year-long consultation over the issue.

In August 2017, following a reference from Telecom Department, Trai had issued a consultation paper on spectrum auction for bands like 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, and also other bands like 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz.

The industry, however, has been of the view that operators are not ready for the next round of spectrum auction at this point, given the deep financial stress and ongoing consolidation in the sector.

The industry has also been in favour of lowering of reserve prices to enable adequate participation and ensuring fair market discovery especially in the backdrop of the sector’s financial difficulties.

The sector is reeling under Rs 7.5 lakh crore cumulative debt, and hyper-competition has only made matters worse for the established operators.

Engaged in a brutal and prolonged tariff war with newcomer Reliance Jio, the older players have seen erosion in their revenues, and continue to incur losses on India mobility services.

In the previous auction held in 2016, the government had put a total of 2,354.55 MHz of mobile airwaves for sale in the bands of 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz, cumulatively valued at around Rs 5.63 lakh crore at base price.

However, nearly 60% of the radio waves, including premium 4G bands, had remained unsold in that auction.

In the five-day auction, seven telcos had made a commitment of Rs 65,789 crore for buying only 964.80 MHz of spectrum across multiple frequency bands.

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9 Comments on "Much-Awaited Views on Spectrum Auction Will Be Issued by Trai This Week: RS Sharma"


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Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
August 1, 2018 12:20 am 12:20 AM

Esmail, how much spectrum is available(maximum for Telecom services) in each of above mentioned bands? Asking because South Korea auctioned 100-120Mhz in each band for 5G in June. Same happened somewhere in Europe recently. 100-120 MHz in each three Telecom operators.

July 31, 2018 8:56 pm 8:56 PM

What about 700 mhz? Also, does our current devices support this band? Can anybody please explain…

July 31, 2018 7:10 pm 7:10 PM

5g india with only 2 operators jio and airtel. From 7 to 2. Good going.

Papu Airtelwale
August 1, 2018 1:11 am 1:11 AM

Yeah you are absolutely right, currently bharti group has a debt of around RS 98,000 crores and when our india’s maibaap Rahul ji will come in power @2019 he will offer another RS 1 lakh crores to Bharti group to ensure us to offer pan India 5g network.

Girish Gowda | BengaLuru
July 31, 2018 8:56 pm 8:56 PM

Even two big operators in the US merged because of the massive investments needed for 5G. And u think the likes of Sudha’s Aircel, Docomo and whatever else could even afford it when they couldn’t even invest in the network that they had?

mani dhiman
July 31, 2018 8:45 pm 8:45 PM

Vodafone idea Ltd is here and as long as Indians keep paying GST and income taxes,BSNL not going anywhere

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
July 31, 2018 11:27 pm 11:27 PM

Unless and until Birla brings massive investment from outside, they are not going to stay in Jios onslaught. They need maximum investment in next two years,to stay relevant in this martket till 2025.

August 1, 2018 6:42 am 6:42 AM

Iam working at KPMG. We are doing the tax compliance of US companies and the so called T-Mobile is our entity. They have just acquired sprint to strengthen the market presence.

Girish Gowda | BengaLuru
August 1, 2018 1:16 am 1:16 AM

Doesn’t matter what you think. Sprint was no Aircel like in TN.