The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today released a Consultation Paper on ‘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 will attempt to sell the 700 MHz spectrum yet again after a failed to sell it in the October 2016 auction.
The industry stakeholders can write the comments on the issues raised in the Consultation Paper by September 25, 2017, and the counter comments by October 3, 2017.
“The key issues raised are the quantum of spectrum to be auctioned, optimal block size, duplexing scheme, spectrum cap, roll-out conditions and methods to be used for valuation and estimation of reserve price of spectrum,” said Trai in the released Consultation Paper.
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.
Furthermore, Trai is auctioning the 5G spectrums for the first time. 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.
“Department of Telecommunications through their reference dated 19th April 2017 sought recommendations of the TRAI on applicable reserve price, the quantum of spectrum to be auctioned and associated conditions for the auction of spectrum in 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300-3400 and 3400-3600 MHz Bands,” said Trai in the paper.
Trai is yet to reveal the date of the spectrum auction. India’s leading telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, BSNL, Reliance Communications (RCom), Aircel are expected to participate in the auction.