In what could be the biggest ever sale of telecom airwaves, government will auction 2,000 megahertz of spectrum in the next 2-3 months, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.
“I think in the coming 2-3 months as I expect we will go for one the highest ever auction of 2,000 megahertz so that you (industry players) have ample spectrum available. From sharing, trading and also auction centric spectrum available,” Prasad said at an Assocham event here.
As per plan recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, about 2,100 mhz of spectrum is available for auction. At base price recommended by Trai, the auction has potential to fetch bids worth Rs 5.36 lakh crore.
This amount is almost double the cost of all spectrum investment to date in India and more than 20 times the annual free cash flow of the entire mobile industry in India, as per global telecom industry body GSMA.
Telecom Commission has approved Trai’s auction plan and the same will need cabinet approval.
“Spectrum issue has been addressed. I am happy to hear that our last auction (2015), the highest ever, has generated lot of confidence among all of you,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The auction conducted in 2015 fetched bids worth Rs 1.1 lakh crore — the highest ever received in any spectrum auction held in India.
The minister said that at government level he has cleared all pending policies like spectrum trading, sharing and recently he has also cleared licence for virtual network operators and the guidelines for the same will be issued soon.