Cabinet Might Decide Spectrum Reserve Pricing: Report


Despite Airtel and Vi facing a financial crisis, the Cabinet is reportedly planning to decide the reserve prices for the upcoming spectrum auction. This development comes when the Department of Telecom (DoT) refuses to reduce the reserve prices of the spectrum auction.

Cabinet Might Decide Spectrum Reserve Pricing: Report


The telecom ministry has also drafted a Cabinet note, which will have all details, including reserve prices for the spectrum. These reserve prices were decided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. However, there are chances that the Cabinet might take a call on two things, i.e. the telecom operators should know the amount and the timeline of the AGR payments. Secondly, the cost of telecom equipment has gone up by 20 percent after the ban on Chinese vendors, reports Financial Express.

The report said that the current price of the spectrum might affect the overall auction procedure as Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Vi (Vodafone-Idea) are not in favor of such pricing. Notably, TRAI has decided the prices of 3,300-3,600 MHz, where operators have to pay Rs. 492 crore for per MHz and for 20 MHz, telcos have to pay Rs. 9,840 crores.

Furthermore, the report highlighted that the Cabinet is planning to take a call on the 4G pricing, where operators have to shell out Rs. 32,840 crores, which is again very high, despite TRAI reduced the prices.

"We gather from DoT (Department of Telecommunications) that a spectrum sale is likely during January-March next year, but in case 5G airwaves are sold, we can't afford it at current reserve prices recommended by TRAI as there would be no business case," Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal said. The upcoming auction will have several bands like 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1,800MHz, 2,100MHz, 2,300MHz, and 2,500MHz. This clearly shows that there no 5G spectrum auction this time.

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