The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) today issued a notice for next spectrum auction bidding date. The bidding for the next spectrum auction will start from March 1. This is the sixth round of spectrum auction for radiowaves worth Rs 3.92 crore. Last month, the Union Cabinet approved the DoT's proposal to hold next spectrum auction by March 2021. In this spectrum auction, a total of 2,251.25 Megahertz (MHz) spectrum will be up for sale for a base price of Rs 3.92 lakh crore. Industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) welcomed this move from DoT saying this spectrum auction will help telcos match the growing data needs of the customers. Telcos are yet to respond for this notice from DoT.
Spectrum Auction from March 1, 2021: What You Need to Know
In the notice, DoT mentioned that it fixed January 12 for the pre-bid conference and January 28 as the last date for seeking clarification. DoT further mentioned that telcos would have to submit the participation application by February 5 and the department will announce final bidders on February 24.
For the unaware, the Union Cabinet has approved the DoT's proposal to auction spectrum in frequency bands of 700 MHz, 800Mhz, 900 Mhz, 2100 Mhz, 2300 Mhz and 2500 MHz. The spectrum auction will begin from March 1, the DoT finished.
"We welcome the government’s decision to kick start the Spectrum Auction from March 1st. This will enable the industry to cater to the exponential increase in data usage which will facilitate in supporting the Digital India vision. While the Govt. has addressed the requirement for the availability of more spectrum, lowering the reserve prices would have provided additional resources for network expansion to the Telcos. High reserve prices in past auctions have resulted in large amounts of spectrum remaining unsold. We hope the Govt. will take additional measures to boost the financial health of the industry, which is the backbone of a digitally connected India,” COAI DG SP Kochhar welcomed DoT's notice of spectrum auction bidding date.
The last spectrum auction happened back in 2016 and that was the fifth round of auction in India. The sixth round of spectrum auction will kickstart on March 1. Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio will be taking a major role in this spectrum auction, followed by Vodafone Idea. Bharti Airtel may not take active participation in the upcoming auction. What are your thoughts on the next spectrum auction? Let us know by commenting below.