Why Is 700 MHz Spectrum Band Not Attracting Telecom Operators?


The 700 MHz spectrum band, which is the most efficient and premium band remained unsold due to its high price in the last auction. This is the second time the Government put up the same band on spectrum auction as there were no takers of the 700 MHz band in 2016.

Why Is 700 MHz Spectrum Band Not Attracting Telecom Operators?

The 700 MHz band is better than the 1800 MHz band and two times better than the 900 MHz band. Besides, the 700 MHz band is expected to offer cheaper internet services than any other band. In addition, global telecom players are already using the 700 MHz band, as it is the most efficient for the 5G networks.

700 MHz Spectrum Band Role In 5G Network

Notably, Airtel and Reliance Jio are planning to launch 5G services soon. However, both companies are waiting for the Department of Telecommunication's approval for testing the 5G network. In fact, they are planning to write DoT to reduce the base price of the 5G network.

"Operators will soon write to telecom secretary Anshu Prakash that since the characteristics of all sub GHz bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz are the same, their reserve prices should be of the same order," industry sources said.

It is worth noting that the telecom ministry did not auction 3,300-3,600 MHz bands in the latest auction due to high price; however, telecom analysts said that 700 MHz is also good for the 5G network.

Why 700 MHz Spectrum Band Expensive?

The 700 MHz spectrum band is expensive as it offers wide coverage good network, better connectivity, and affordable broadband services than any other band.

"There is also a distinct possibility that now with 5G technology that's going to come sooner or later. In 700 MHz, the 5G ecosystem is also developing as it is developing in the mid-band 3.3-3.6 GHz. If 700 MHz is not sold in this auction, nothing prevents it from being sold in the next auction," telecom secretary Anshu Prakash said. This means that the Department of Telecommunication is planning to auction 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands in the coming spectrum auction.

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