Earlier this Wednesday, Trai strongly defended their spectrum pricing and especially noted that the pricing had been finalised after taking into the industry feedback. Trai stuck to their prices and said that it depends upon the interest of individual stakeholder and their decision whether they want to take part in the auction or not. After the announcement by Trai, minister of Telecom and IT Sanjay Dhotre mentioned the Rajya Sabha and stated that a draft cabinet note had been prepared for the auction of the spectrum and written document is still under review within the department.
Bharti Airtel Opposes Recommend Spectrum Pricing
Trai’s statement gained significance as earlier this month, Bharti Airtel, mentioned that they would not participate in the auction if the base price is fixed at Rs 492 crore per megahertz as recommended by the telecom regulator. When asked about the statement given by Bharti Airtel, the chairman of Trai, RS Sharma noted that the entire decision of auction depends upon the government and apparently, they have accepted the reserve prices. Not only this, while addressing a joint workshop on `Digital Radio Vision for India’ organised by Xperi Corporation and ICEA, he stated that stakeholders have complete freedom to decide whether they want to participate in the auction or not. The government will eventually determine the time of the sale.
Government May Plan Spectrum Auction in April-June Quarter
It is estimated that the government will be planning next round of Spectrum Auction in April or May this year. Also, the government will include radio waves for 5G Services in the sale. The Digital Communications Commission (DCC) has already approved the reserve price recommended by Trai. However, it will be sent to the cabinet for the final approval. RS Sharma also said that Trai had not been approached by Department of Telecom (DoT) for recommendations on Spectrum bands. He also noted that if they receive a reference for new 5G Bands, they will be ready for a consultation. The new Spectrum plan is different from the earlier sale plan which was finalised at Rs 5.22 Lakh crore by Digital Communications Commission on 20th December in which 8,300 MHz of airwaves across 22 circles were to be blocked in March-April period. The Department of Telecom followed Trai’s recommendations on pricing and other modalities for coveted 5G bands of 24.75-27.25 GHz, and they are also planning to clear additional bands in 2020