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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 April 2024

Government approves auctions in eight spectrum bands for mobile phone services at base price of Rs 96,000 crore

Spectrum, which is held by certain companies undergoing insolvency processes and is expiring this year, will also be put on auction

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 09.02.24, 10:25 AM
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Representational image File picture

The government on Thursday approved auctions in eight spectrum bands for mobile phone services at a base price of Rs 96,317.65 crore.

Spectrum, which is held by certain companies undergoing insolvency processes and is expiring this year, will also be put on auction, the government statement said after the Cabinet meeting.

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“The auction will be held for spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz frequency bands. Spectrum will be offered for assignment for validity period of 20 years.

“A total of 10,523.15 MHz is being offered with a valuation of Rs. 96,317.65 crore (at reserve price),” an official release said.

“As recommended by Trai, the reserve prices for various bands have been revised using suitable indexation,” the release said.

Data showed that a bulk of the spectrum to be auction would be in 26 GHz band (8700 MHz), followed by 3300 MHZ (1100 MHz), 1800 MHz (221.4 MHz paired), 2100 MHz (125 MHz paired), 800 MHz (118.75 MHz paired), 900 MHz (118 MHz paired), 2300 MHz (60 MHz) and 2500 MHz (70 MHz).

The department of telecommunications (DoT) will soon issue a notice inviting applications (NIA) — the legal document laying down auction rules and processes. Auctions typically start 45–50 days after the NIA is issued.

The government is looking to earn Rs 1.20 lakh crore from communication services in the financial year 2024-25 through licence fees and spectrum charges from the telecom players, according to Interim Budget documents released on February 1.

The Cabinet has also set up a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) to consider re-farming existing spectrum use to increase the spectrum availability to meet the future needs of telecommunication services.

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