Trai begins consultation process for next spectrum auction, 5G-capable bands on agenda

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New Delhi | Published: August 29, 2017 8:00:06 AM

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday initiated the process for the next spectrum auction by floating a consultation paper on the same, in which the regulator will deliberate, among other issues, on the timing for the auction, whether there should be a cap on bidding for airwaves in the 5G-capable 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 Mhz bands, as well as on the reserve price for various bands.

Trai, DoT, COAI, spectrum auction, airwaves in the 5GIn the 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands, which are used to offer 5G services, 100 MHz and 175 Mhz of spectrum, respectively, are available for sale. (Reuters)

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday initiated the process for the next spectrum auction by floating a consultation paper on the same, in which the regulator will deliberate, among other issues, on the timing for the auction, whether there should be a cap on bidding for airwaves in the 5G-capable 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 Mhz bands, as well as on the reserve price for various bands. In April, the department of telecom (DoT) requested Trai to give its recommendations on the applicable reserve price, quantum of spectrum to be auctioned and associated conditions for auction of spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz as well as the 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands, which will go under the hammer for the first time. In total, around 1,671.15 MHz of spectrum is available in various bands that will come up for sale in the next auction, which sources say is unlikely to happen in the current fiscal. This also includes 60% of radio waves that did not find any takers in the October 2016 auction.

In the 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands, which are used to offer 5G services, 100 MHz and 175 Mhz of spectrum, respectively, are available for sale. In the 700 MHz band, the total unsold 770 MHz in the 2016 auction will again come up for sale. However, there is no spectrum available in the 2300 MHz band. However, the telecom industry did not share the same enthusiasm. Industry body COAI said that the sector is undergoing an acute financial crisis, which has also triggered mergers and consolidation and that there is a considerable amount of uncertainty at present.

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