The government has approved the plan to auction a total of 8300 Megahertz (MHz) of spectrum beginning January next year for 22 telecom circles across the country for a reserved price of Rs 5.23 lakh crore.
Bidding for the airwaves will start in January and the sale will take place in March. The Telecom ministry has reduced the requirement for upfront payment to 10 % from the existing norm of 25% for sub-gigahertz and the upfront payment for the gigahertz and above frequencies has been reduced to 20 % from 50 %. The rest of the amount can be paid in 16 installments over the next 20 years after a moratorium of two years.
India’s telecom industry is under stress and has requested the government for favourable policies to aid revival.
Telecom secretary Anshu Prakash said the Digital Communication Commission (DCC) approved the spectrum sale in a meeting on Friday and also accepted the recommendations on its pricing by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
The Digital Communication Commission is the highest policy making body of the Telecom ministry.
“The bids for spectrum auctioneer who will conduct the auction will be opened on January 13,” said Prakash.
Spectrum in the 700 MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 3300-3600 MHz band will be auctioned. This also includes 6050 MHz for 5G services, which is expected to be rolled out in the next 5 years. HT