Data Drive: Biggest spectrum auction ever

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Published: January 30, 2016 12:15:30 AM

In what could be the biggest ever auction of telecom spectrum—expected in the middle of the year—telecom regulator Trai has announced the base price in seven bands.

In all, over 2100 MHz of spectrum is up for bidding.In all, over 2100 MHz of spectrum is up for bidding.

In what could be the biggest ever auction of telecom spectrum—expected in the middle of the year—telecom regulator Trai has announced the base price in seven bands. In all, over 2100 MHz of spectrum is up for bidding. If all the spectrum is sold at the base price, the government can rake in an unprecedented Rs 521,000 crore
($ 76.6 billion). That does not seem likely.

The key band on offer is the 700 MHz band. Though most operators did not want the band in this auction, Trai has put up 35 MHz (seven bands of 5MHz each) for bidding in each of the 22 telecom circles. This band is crucial for providing high speed LTE coverage. In keeping with the quality of the band, Trai has put a steep base price of R11,485 crore ($ 1.7 billion) for 1 MHz of 700 MHz band nationwide.

That’s four times the base price of the 1800 MHz band. The other band that could be in demand is 2100 where 345 MHz is on offer. However, in the other important bands—800 and 900 MHz—there is limited spectrum on offer. Operators could use the auction to plug gaps in the 2300 MHz band too.

Gr2

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