India's Trai approves sale of 5G spectrum

02 Aug 2018
00:00
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Daily News

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has released its recommendations on the upcoming auction of spectrum across numerous bands, including spectrum allocated for 5G.

In a response [PDF] to a request from the Department of Telecom to provide recommendations on the reserve price and quantum of spectrum to be allocated in the next auction, Trai called for all the available spectrum across nine bands to be allocated.

This includes spectrum in the 700-MHz, 800-MHz, 900-MHz, 1800-MHz, 2100-MHz, 2500-MHz, 3300-MHz to 2400MHz, and 3400-MHz to 3600-MHz bands.

In an attempt to avoid a repeat of the ill-fated 2016 spectrum auction, where there were no takers for 700-MHz spectrum due to high reserve prices, Trai has recommended for the reserve prices for spectrum in the band to be cut by over 43% to 65.38 billion rupees ($956.6 million).

Meanwhile for the 3300-MHz to 3600-MHz spectrum expected to be used for 5G, Trai has recommended that the available spectrum be auctioned as a single band in 20 MHz blocks.

Trai has also called for a 100 MHz cap per bidder to avoid monopolization of the band, which would include a cap on the spectrum operators will be able to acquire through spectrum trading arrangements.

Existing caps of a 35% limit per operator on spectrum in any one band should also apply.

Trai has recommended that no rollout obligations be mandated for spectrum in the band, but to avoid misuse the spectrum should be subject to a lock-in period of five years before it is eligible for spectrum trading.

Recommended reserve prices for this spectrum range from 20 million rupees for the Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast circles, to 69 million rupees for the Delhi circle.

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