Spectrum auction in Mar, DoT to seek cabinet nod in Dec: Sources

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 28, 2019 13:45 hrs
Telecom Tower (Image Courtesy: Reuters)

New Delhi: Department of Telecom is targeting spectrum auction in mid March, 2020, after its high powered committee on spectrum pricing decided in favour of TRAI's recommended base price. The decision will be placed before the Cabinet for approval in December, official sources said.

"We are targeting March for spectrum auction for 5G and others. We will push for cabinet approval next month after taking Digital Communications Commission nod on prices. Our internal committee has cleared the TRAI base prices for all the bands, all processes are concurrently going on. The auctioneer will also be appointed shortly," official sources said.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also in a written reply said on Wednesday that there is no reduction on prices for the spectrum auction envisaged.

The minister said: "The value of unsold spectrum as on date as p er valuation by TRAI in its recommendations on Auction of Spectrum in 700 MH z, 800MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2,500 MHz, 3,300-3,400 MHz, 3,400-3,600MHz Bands dated August 1, 2018 is Rs 4.9 lakh crore," Prasad said.

Any telecom player interested in buying spectrum for 5G service in 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,425-3,600 Mhz band will need to shell out at least Rs 9,840 crore as per TRAI's proposal.

The minister also said the 275 megahertz of available radiowaves frequency between 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,425 to 3,600 Mhz band for 5G auction which is enough to launch 5G services in the country.

Industry bodies and telecom operators have been demanding a reduction in the proposed base price for 5G spectrum auction, claiming that the rate was t oo high.The DoT has set a target to roll out 5G in 2020. Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson in its global study published early this week said that 5G connections are likely to be available in India from 2022.