Vodafone Idea Requests to Do Away with 50% Combined Spectrum Holding Limit

Vodafone Idea Ltd has said that due to the new rules, there might be an upheaval in the industry with imbalanced spectrum holding

  • This statement by VIL comes in the light of 5G spectrum acquisition about to happen next year
  • The telcos can only hold 50% of 700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz spectrum in totality

Vodafone Idea has expressed concern on the fact that the 50% combined holding limit on the sub-1 GHz spectrum which is likely to be used for 5G can lead to a duopoly in the telecom sector. According to Vodafone Idea’s claim, the duopoly will undermine the healthy competition in the industry which is on its way back from the trenches.

VIL Deems 2020 as Appropriate Year for Spectrum Auction

ET Telecom reported the statement of the chief regulatory officer at Vodafone Idea Limited, P Balaji who said: “While the pricing for the future spectrum is very important, access to spectrum is equally important.” He added to his words, “If 5G is the game of the future from 2020 onwards, then it is very important that all telcos should get access to 5G, and not just opportunity to buy 5G airwaves.”

Balaji also added that currently the industry currently has four distinct players – Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel and the government led telecom operator, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. Balaji also added that the current industry make up is just about right, and a disturbance in this might lead to a disbalance in the industry. He said, “The access will allow for a vibrant, competitive framework of providing 5G services, just like 2G, 3G, and 4G that are competitive, where the consumer gets a choice while the government’s objective is met.”

It is also worth noting that currently, Vodafone Idea is the only one who has called out for change in the rules of capping the spectrum holding. All the other telecom operators, however, have urged the authorities to bring down the 5G spectrum base prices from what has been recommended by the regulator.

700 MHz and 800 MHz Spectrum to be Used for 5G

To recall, the government had introduced norms last year which increased the individual spectrum holding by each operator to 35% up from the previous limit of 25% and had capped the combined spectrum holding to 50%. The bands which were capped included the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz. Out of these three, the first two are the ones expected to be used for fifth-generation network technology.

An industry official spoke behind anonymity saying that from a long-term perspective, 5G is gold-dust. He added, “You need to have an adequate choice for consumers and enterprises…Therefore, 35% cap should be enforced for all the bands including the sub-GHz bands… This is the easiest way to ensure that there’s no monopoly or duopoly in 5G.” He also said that with the new cap, there would be enough incentives for price discovery through auction. The telcos will also be able to boast of sufficient capacity with the new higher spectrum holding limits.

Vodafone Under Financial Pressure

The request for a flip in cap rules comes from Vodafone Idea partly because it is also the telco which is under much more financial pressure as compared to the other private telecom operators. Post the data tariff war; the companies are suffering from dented revenues except for Reliance Jio, which is the only telco registering profits.

Vodafone Idea executive, Balaji also said that 2020 would be the right year for 5G spectrum auction as the industry will be more mature by the time with more business and use cases.

Read more on:

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

Leave a Reply

Photo and Image Files
7 Comment threads
22 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
13 Comment authors
ARAVIND B AThamilan daaManiChetan-BengaluruLinto Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Thamilan daa
Thamilan daa

Vodafone own 3G and 4G speed at Coimbatore (near Coimbatore medical college) using 2100 MHz :
1st picture : 3G speed

2nd picture : 4G speed

Thamilan daa
Thamilan daa

Correction :

1st picture was 4G speed and the 2nd one shows 3G speed


Yes sure, taking speed test early in the morning will not tell you true story. See mine with just 10mhz of band 3. It is all about consistency.

Thamilan daa
Thamilan daa

What do you say now?. Late night?. Lol.

Vodafone 4G 2100 MHz speed at Coimbatore medical college area Avinaasi road, Tamilnadu

2nd picture : airtel fastest 4G speed !!!

Thamilan daa
Thamilan daa

Correction :

1st picture is airtel speed and the second one is vodafone


And see the latency to local Airtel server… Yuck…. Such pathetic routing . In evening it goes as high as 315ms almost equivalent to server in US…. Guys update::: I did ping tracing and found Vodafone is taking traffic to Vodafone UK and then coming to India. It also has Tata line for backup and some time when speed test is done on same latency to Airtel server comes as 69ms which is still high though… Not sure why Vodafone is doing same as this sort of routing pathetic has many hops and spoil user experience. Guys please do ping… Read more »


Bro i am not gettong Volte in idea!!! Bangalore….one plus 6


Off topic – as per press report – BSNL to lay off over 54000 of its employees after elections. Total staff numbers are over 174000.

Government had formed a three member committee for BSNL revival. There are no intentions of closure or sale.

As per committee report, three suggestions out of 10 have been approved by the government

1) reduce retirement age of BSNL employees from 60 to 58.

2) compulsory voluntary retirement for all BSNL junior staff aged over 50.

3) immediate allocation of 4g waves pan India & roll out.

Other suggestions/findings to be implemented latter.


This was expected . Had the gut feeling that NDA will take up BSNL revival as a challenge after elections. Had mentioned the same few weeks back .

I am very sure of BSNL good days ahead. Network will get the required boost & should gain market & revenues share in the near future.


what they ‘ve done in 5 years was destroying the public company for Jio

Recent Posts

VIDEO: Why BSNL is Better Than Other Operators? You’ll Be Surprised

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has got some of the most attractive plans in the industry right now. The telecom...

Vodafone Idea Gets Hit With Call Drop Penalties Along With Other Telcos

Things have gotten from bad to worse for Vodafone Idea and other telecom operators. As if the dues of Adjusted...

Nokia 2.3 India Launch Officially Teased: Can it Take on the Redmi 8A?

Just a few days ago, HMD Global launched the Nokia 2.3 entry-level smartphone with basic specifications on board. The Nokia...