TRAI Announces Guidelines For Spectrum Auction Worth Rs 5Lakh

Telecom regulator TRAI on Wednesday came out with advisory for the next set up spectrum auction. The dates of the auction, however, are not announced. The spectrum bands that would go up for sale includes 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz and 3300 MHz.

A total of 4948 MHz of spectrum would be auctioned, and the regulator has also offered the reserve price for each spectrum band.

At the reserve price base, if the entire amount of spectrum that is put for auction got sold, the government is set to pocket more than Rs 5,000,00.

For the spectrum auction, the regulator has taken the reserve price of 1800 Mhz spectrum band as reference point to decide on the base price of other bands like 700 MHz and 3500 MHz.

Foe example, the reserve price for 1MHz spectrum in 1800 MHz band for pan India has been decided at Rs 3285 crore. The reserve price for 700 MHz spectrum for 1 MHz has been kept as double that of 1800 MHz band, means Rs 6570 crore.

Similarly, the reserve price for 3500 MHz band has been fixed at 30% the reserve price of 1800 MHz.

This pricing will be a big releaf for the telecom operators as the the entire amount of spectrum in 700 MHz band remained unsold during the last auction. The bidders or the telecom operators had opined that the base price was too high then – at Rs 11,485 crore.

This spectrum auction will be interesting as TRAI has also offered to auction some 5G airwaves in the 3300-3500 MHz band. Airwaves in these bands will be offered in the block size of 20 MHz.

However, to keep monopoly under check, TRAI has suggested for spectrum cap for bidders.

“To avoid monopolization of this band, there should be limit of 100 MHz per bidder. Since the TSPs are allowed to trade their partial or complete spectrum holding to another TSP, the limit of 100 MHz spectrum in 3300-3600 MHz band, shall also apply for spectrum trading. In case a TSP acquires more than one block, the entire spectrum should be assigned to it in contiguous form,” the TRAI note says.

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