Cabinet approves auction of 5G spectrum


The Union Cabinet led by PM Narendra Modi approved the proposal by the DoT to conduct a spectrum auction through which it will be assigned to successful bidders for providing 5G services to public and enterprises.

The auction of over 72 GHz of the spectrum will be held by July-end, said an official statement detailing the decision taken by the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at its meeting held on June 14. The spectrum auction will commence on July 26, 2022. The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and High (26 GHz) frequency bands.

The e-auction will be conducted on a “simultaneous multiple rounds” ascending model. Bidders will have to submit an earnest money deposit ahead of the auction, on the basis of which each will be allocated eligibility points. During the auction, the company will be able to place its bids using these eligibility points. Telecom operators had asked for a reduction of around 90 per cent in the reserve price of airwaves from the 2018 levels. But the Cabinet’s final approval includes a price reduction of around 35-40 per cent, in line with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) recommendations. Last month, the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) had stuck to the base pricing for spectrum suggested by Trai.

“The availability of sufficient backhaul spectrum is also necessary to enable the roll-out of 5G services. To meet the backhaul demand, the Cabinet has decided to provisionally allot 2 carriers of 250 MHz each in E-band to the Telecom Service Providers,” the official statement said. The Cabinet also decided to double the number of traditional Microwave backhaul carriers in the existing frequency bands of 13, 15, 18 and 21 GHz bands, the release informed. The India market is gearing up 5G services, that will usher in ultra high speeds and spawn new-age services and business models, and the mega-auctions will pave the way for roll out of next generation services by telcos, in 2022-23.


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