Next Spectrum Auction To Take Place In March 2021

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The cabinet has finally cleared the Department of Telecommunication spectrum auction proposal. The major development comes after four years as the last spectrum auction happened in 2016. The government has decided to sell only 4G airwaves as there is no decision has been taken on the 5G band.

 
Next Spectrum Auction To Take Place In March 2021

"The auction will be for spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, and 2500 MHz frequency bands. Spectrum will be offered for an assignment for a validity period of 20 years. A total of 2251.25 MHz is being offered with a total valuation of Rs. 3,92,332.70 crores (at reserve price)," the ministry said.

In addition, the ministry has decided to send inviting applications and the auction will take place in March next year. Notably, the government is looking for Rs. 1.33 lakh crore revenue from the telecom industry. It includes all licensing fees, spectrum auction, and others. The government received Rs. 58, 990 crores in the last financial year.

"The government has addressed the requirement for more spectrum, lower reserve prices would have provided additional resources for network expansion to the Telcos. High reserve prices in past auctions have resulted in large amounts of spectrum remaining unsold. We hope the government will take additional measures to boost the financial health of the industry," said SP Kochhar, DG, COAI.

The ministry also said that the operator has to pay three percent adjusted gross revenue after winning the bid. However, spectrum usage charges are not included in that charge. Additionally, the DoT is planning to sell 8,300MHz airwaves to garner Rs. 5.23 lakh crore. However, telecom players like Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Vi (Vodafone-Idea) are yet to respond to this announcement.

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