Trai Refuses to Budge on Spectrum Price Recommendations, Puts Responsibility of Auction Success on DoT

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has said that it has already considered the necessary factors while recommending prices for spectrum back in August 2018

By July 9th, 2019 AT 12:03 PM
Highlights
  • As per the regulator, the government will also be responsible for the auction success with its marketing efforts
  • Trai has accepted some of the considerations by DoT on the matter

In a new turn of events related to the auction of the 4G and 5G airwaves which is to happen later this year, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has refused to budge on the recommended prices for the spectrum. The telecom regulator has also said to the department of telecommunications (DoT) that no one can guarantee the sale of all the airwaves which are put up for auction, as per an ET Telecom report. To recall, in the last auction for spectrum the DoT did not see any buyers for some of the spectrum owing to high prices, and this time around DoT asked the telecom regulator consider reducing the reserve price of spectrum looking at the financial health of the industry.

Telcos Disappointed With No Change in Spectrum Prices

In its remark to DoT, the telecom regulator has also said that it is the collective responsibility of the DoT and the marketing efforts of the department as well, which will make the spectrum auction a success. The department had asked the sector regulator to once retake a look at the overall auction structure besides urging it to change and lower the reserve prices of the spectrum for the upcoming auction. DoT was urging the regulator to make changes such that it would allow the department to avail maximum spectrum for sale for government revenue.

The industry watchdog, in its response to DoT, said on Monday, “The authority reiterates the spectrum valuation and reserve prices as contained in its recommendations dated August 1, 2018.” The regulator also added that it had already taken a look at the necessary development before making recommendations for the prices back in August 2018. It further added to its statement, “The Government’s own marketing efforts will also have an impact on participation in auction. Therefore, no guarantee can be given about sale of all the spectrum put to auction, as it depends on various factors”.

Trai Also to Not Reconsider Auction Architecture

The regulator also added that the pan-India auction of a spectrum is something that is infeasible, and on these grounds, it refused to relook at the architecture of the spectrum which is to be auctioned later this year. It also said that the issues pertaining to the type of auction, payment conditions and other related terms were already settled with the finance ministry or the RBI.

The director general of COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) also added on this issue, “The DCC (Digital Communications Commission) and the inter-ministerial cabinet group have the option of reviewing and reducing the reserved prices as they did before.”

Two Demands of DoT That Trai Approved

However, there are some views of DoT which Trai has agreed to, and it has said that the lock-in period for spectrum trading can be brought down from 5 years to 2 years to promote more extensive participation in bidding of 5G spectrum along and sooner deployment of 5G in India. Also, the telecom operators will be able to bid for a minimum of 0.2 Mhz, instead of 0.6 Mhz, in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands.

The views that Trai has rejected include that the 5G bands – 3300 to 3600 Mhz – should be lower than 100 Mhz. As per Trai, this has been done to keep a single bidder from monopolising the spectrum, while still complying with the 35% cap. Moving forward, the regulator’s responses will be taken up by the Digital Communications Commission (DCC), which will give its final opinions on the matter.

Read more on:

Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

11
Leave a Reply

avatar
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
6 Comment threads
5 Thread replies
2 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
ChetanPallab-WBThamilan daaKiran Fernandes | GoaLa La Land Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Chetan
Chetan

Airtel is set to loose few more millions in next six-eight months due to poor 4G coverage. 4G coverage expansion will go on till 2021. Airtel can’t afford to sit back like this. Doomsday is near. ARPU isn’t going to be helpful in long term. Airtel can serve at the most 100-120Million 4G customers when they upgrade their network in current scenario.

Thamilan daa
Thamilan daa

Chetan :
Can you point at least one operator in India whose 4G and 3G coverage is more than their 2G coverage?.

No one can. No use talking about 5G.

Chetan
Chetan

2G and 3G will cease to exist in India in 2020. Please save some money to upgrade the Galaxy Note 4.

Pallab-WB
Pallab-WB

Airtel already stopped 3G in Kolkata circle.

Chetan
Chetan

Soon it will end in other circles too. Most probably by the end of next financial year. More band 1 spectrum will get eligible for LTE deployment hence increasing capacity a bit more.

Recent Posts

Samsung W20 5G Foldable Phone With Flagship Specs Certified by TENAA

Samsung is all set to introduce its second foldable phone on November 19 in China and it’s the Samsung W20...

Asianet Offering Cable TV Pack With 100 Channels at Rs 150 Along With Free Set-Top Box for New Users

Asianet, which is one of the popular Cable TV and broadband service providers in Kerala, has introduced a new offer...

Tata Sky Metro Packs Are an Affordable Way to Get Regional Channels

Tata Sky is the top DTH provider in the country, and there is a solid reason behind why that is...