The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recently released the Consultation Paper of ‘Auction of Spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands.’ The regulator previously asked the industry stakeholders to write the comments on the issues raised in the Consultation Paper by September 25, 2017, and the counter comments by October 3, 2017.
However, the regulator has now extended the date to write comments and counter comments on the Consultation Paper. The last date for submission of written comments is extended upto October 9, 2017, and for counter-comments is October 16, 2017. Trai made this decision at the request of stakeholders, and also warned that no further requests would be considered for extension.
“Keeping in view the request of stakeholders for extension of time for sending their comments, it has been decided to extend the last date for submission of written comments upto 9th October 2017 and for counter-comments upto 16th October 2017. No further requests for an extension would be considered,” said Trai in a press statement.
“The comments and counter-comments may be sent to Shri S.T. Abbas, Advisor (Network, Spectrum & Licensing), TRAI, preferably in electronic form at [email protected],” added Trai.
While Trai is looking to conduct a spectrum auction, various telecom operators are not ready for the auction, thanks to the financial stress all the operators going through.
Back in October 2016, Trai auctioned the 700 MHz band for the first time, but the Indian telecom operators ignored the spectrum because of the steep price. And it was rumoured long back that Government is looking to re-auction the 700 MHz spectrum, which turned out to be true.
Also, Trai is auctioning the 5G spectrum for the first time in India. To bring 5G technology to the country, operators have to lock in the spectrums- 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands. The upcoming 5G network is said to bring various new applications based on IoT, and these bands have the capability to handle the new technologies.
Recently, it was also reported that the Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) is not looking to conduct the next round of spectrum auction this financial year, keeping the financial stress in the telecom sector at the moment. However, Trai is keen in conducting the auction this year itself, but the auction date is yet to be finalised.