The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is likely to begin the consultation process for spectrum auctions later this week by unveiling its consultation paper on spectrum auctions in the bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz. The consultation paper outlines the quantum of spectrum to be put on auction and the methodology to be adopted for the reserve price and inviting stakeholders’ comment on them. “The consultation paper on spectrum auction is ready and is likely to be released this week,” Trai chairman R S Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of the ITU-Trai Asia Pacific Regulators roundtable.
In April, the department of telecom (DoT) asked the regulator to come out with recommendations on the airwaves, including those unsold in October 2016 auction. DoT has also sought Trai’s views on the reserve price for spectrum in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands, as well as for spectrum in the 3400 MHz to 3600 MHz bands that are used for providing 5G services.
In the last spectrum auction in October 2016, the government for the first time put the 700 Mhz band for sale at a reserve price of Rs 11,485 crore per Mhz, but the premium radio waves did not find any takers as the industry said that it was highly priced. Besides, of the airwaves worth around Rs 5.6 lakh crore put on the block, operators made commitments only for spectrum worth a little over Rs 65,500 crore.