Cabinet approves next round of the telecom spectrum auction
The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved guidelines for the next round of spectrum auction which may begin in the last week of January, said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.
"Cabinet approves Auction of spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz frequency bands, for a validity period of 20 years. A total of 2251.25 MHz is being offered with total valuation of Rs. 3,92,332.70 crores, said Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also said, "It's been 4 years since the last auction, conditions for the auction to be same as 2016." This means, notice inviting applications will commence this month. "We propose to hold auction by March 2021," he added.
India IT Minister said telecoms providers mandated to use new devices designated as trusted products and a national security panel on telecoms will be constituted. The Department of Telecom (DoT) has identified 300 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum blocks for 5G services. However, the defence ministry and Department of Space (DoS) have made claims for about 125 MHz of spectrum, leaving only 175 MHz of airwaves for telecom companies. TRAI has recommended base price of proposed 5G spectrum in 3,300-3,600 MHz band at about ₹492 crore per MHz unpaired spectrum on pan-India basis. This comes to around ₹50,000 crore for 100 MHz of 5G spectrum required to deliver 5G services.