TRAI Might Not Revise 5G Spectrum Price; Telcos Unlikely To Buy Spectrum

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Even though telcos want TRAI to reconsider the base price of 5G spectrum, the telecom regulator is unlikely to make any changes. Notably, Airtel and Vodafone-Idea have already expressed that the price of 3300 MHz and 3600 MHz bands are expensive.

 
TRAI Might Not Revise 5G Spectrum Price

"We are unlikely to revisit our pricing and stand that we have already taken earlier, but may consider newer bands such as the millimeter wave (mmWave) band (26 GHz range) with a reasonable price to drive economic benefits," source was quoted by ET.

The report said that TRAI has already initiated a consultation without any notice from the DoT. For the unaware, the base price of the 3300 MHz and 3600 MHz bands, which is priced at Rs. 492 crores per unit.

Vodafone-Idea No Capacity To Buy Spectrum

It is worth noting that India's third-largest telecom operator Vodafone-Idea has no money to buy or participate in the 5G auction. The telco has a debt of around Rs. 1.8 lakh crores and it needs to clear close to Rs. 1.5 lakh crore dues to the Government. This clearly shows that Vi has no money and the capacity to buy the spectrum.

However, the report added that TRAI might plan to add more airwaves at affordable prices that will provide economic benefits to the telecom operators.

Airtel Might Not Go For The 5G Auction

Although Airtel has started 5G trials in the country, the current base price might not allow the telco not to purchase spectrum.

"If in that auction, the reserve price of 5G is high... for many reasons, including the devices being what they are, the devices and the ecosystem being nascent and the fact that spectrum price where they are, we will not buy at these prices. We will not be able to afford it," Airtel India and South Asia MD ad CEO Gopal Vittal said earlier.

 

The telcos have been asked to complete trials in six months. In fact, telcos have started the trails in several locations and plan to conduct in other circles too. But still, in case TRAI comes up with affordable bands, then there are high chances that telcos might go for the auction.

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