Telecom service provider Reliance Communications today said it is "evaluating" its options regarding the 700 Mhz band, which would be put on the block as part of India's largest-ever spectrum auction starting October 1.
Telecom service provider Reliance Communications today said it is “evaluating” its options regarding the 700 Mhz band, which would be put on the block as part of India’s largest-ever spectrum auction starting October 1.
“We are pan-India on 850 Mhz…but we are still evaluating our options,” Gurdeep Singh, CEO – Consumer Business, Reliance Communications told reporters when asked specifically if the company would bid for the 700 Mhz spectrum band.
However, in the same breath, he pointed out that the 700 MHz segment currently lacked the device ecosystem.
On whether the pricing for the 700Mhz band will act as a deterrent, Singh said, “It depends on the appetite and competition level. Pricing is subject to intensity of bidding. But for anyone to deliver worthy, good, high quality, indoor penetrating data network, they need to be on sub-1 Ghz spectrum.”
Singh’s comments come against the backdrop of country’s biggest-ever spectrum auction, to be held from October 1, where mobile radiowaves worth an estimated Rs 5.63 lakh crore will be put up for sale.
Of the various bands that will go under the hammer, the 700 Mhz band alone has potential to fetch bids worth Rs 4 lakh crore if all the spectrum in the band gets sold at the base price. The airwaves in this band are considered premium among all, as cost of providing service in it is one-third the cost of 3G service in the 2100 Mhz band.
But many telecom analysts have predicted a muted response to the band, given its exorbitant pricing.
The government will put up a total of 2,354.55 megahertz of mobile frequencies for auction in all bands — 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz. All the radiowaves being put for auction can be used for high speed 4G services.
The government expects to raise at least Rs 64,000 crore from the spectrum auction and Rs 98,995 crore from various levies and services in the telecom sector this financial year.