New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) The Digital Communication Commission (DCC), the highest policy making body of the Telecom Ministry on Friday approved the spectrum auctions to be held in March/April while making no change in the in the reserve pricing of the radiowaves decided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
The auction will see 5G spectrum sale for the first time.
The bids for spectrum auctioneer who will conduct the auction will be opened on January 13, Anshu Prakash, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) told media here post the meeting, adding that there will be a total 8,300 MHz spectrum to be put in auction amounting to Rs 5.23 lakh crore (of base price).
One of the important changes in the upcoming auction is that the government will charge upfront payment of 10 per cent for the sub-gigahertz instead of 25 per cent earlier, and for the gigahertz and above frequencies it will be 20 per cent instead of 50 per cent earlier. The rest of the amount can be paid in 16 instalments over the next 20 years after a moratorium of two years .
The available spectrum will be allocated in the next 30 days of the upfron t payment to the operators, Prakash said.
He said that out of the 8,300 MHz spectrum put on the auctions, 6,050 MHz would be available for 5G.
The auction will include sale of over 8300 MHz of spectrum spread o ver all 22 telecom circles. TRAI had initially given recommendation for spec trum valued at Rs 4.9 lakh crore. But the telecom department has also includ ed additional spectrum for the auction which will be free from expiration of licences of Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel in 8 circles and Vodafon e and Idea Cellular in 4 circles each, the Secreatary added.
Successful bidders will have to pay 25 per cent of the amount upfront for sub 1 GHz, and 50 per cent upfront for higher frequency bands.
“We expect good participation in the upcoming auctions with a lot of spectrum available (few got vacated as licences got expired) and with good compet ition,” he added.
The spectrum to be auctioned include 700 MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz and 2100MHz, 2 300MHz and 3300-3600 MHz.
The DCC at its meeting on Friday, also approved submarine fibre cable connectivity between Kochi and Lakshadweep island, and under the plan 11 islands will be connected.
The proposal that entails Rs 1,072 crore outlay – capital expenditure of Rs 837 crore and operating expenses of Rs 235 crore – will require the CCEA ‘s approval. There will be two-way connectivity between and among the islands. After award of the contract, 24 months will be required to complete the project.