DoT seeks TRAI view on 5G spectrum auction

DoT seeks TRAI view on 5G spectrum auction

Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently said the 5G Spectrum will be auctioned early next year

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

The Department of Telecom has set the ball rolling for the 5G spectrum auction as it sought TRAI recommendations on pricing, quantum and other modalities pertaining to radio waves in multiple bands.

The DoT asked Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) views on reserve price, block size, band plan, and quantum of spectrum to be auctioned and all other modalities for spectrum across multiple bands.

These include bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz bands as also 3,300-3,600 MHz bands (that were not put up for auctions in the last round), and millimetre-wave band (that is 24.25-28.5 GHz).

Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently said the 5G Spectrum will be auctioned early next year.

Also read: Vodafone Idea claims to record peak 5G speed of 3.7 gbps during trials in Pune

With the telecom industry facing financial stress due to increased debt, industry experts are sceptical of aggressive bidding by telecom firms during auction. While Reliance Jio and Airtel actively participate in the auction, Vodafone may not put an aggressive bid due to poor financial conditions.

The Centre which announced a major relief package to the telecom industry recently expects new players to enter the sector as the government prepares for a 5G spectrum auction.

Industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has urged the DOT earlier that the government should adopt a reasonable reserve price.

The government garnered up Rs 77,814 crore in the last spectrum auction in March 2021.  

In the October 2016 auction, it had collected even less, Rs 65,789 crore.

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