India’s biggest telecom spectrum auction begins

Over 2,000 MHz spectrum will be made available for auction across seven bands. The premium 700 MHz band will be put up for auction for the first time

GN Bureau | October 1, 2016


#telecom regulatory authority of India   #TRAI   #spectrum auction   #digital governance  
India’s biggest telecom spectrum auction begins
Illustration: Ashish Asthana


India's mega auction of telecom spectrum kicked off on Saturday with operators vying for a total of 2,354.55 MHz across seven bands, towards which a reserve price of Rs 5.66 lakh crore has been fixed.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular, Aircel and Tata Teleservices are participating in the auction from which the government hopes to realise the revenue target of Rs 98,994.93 crore.


ALSO READ: MEGA SPECTRUM AUCTION – WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU


The airwaves on the block are in seven bands – 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz and 2,500 MHz.

The premium 700 MHz band will be put up for auction for the first time. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the band is capable of offering high-speed coverage of wireless internet, even inside buildings, which will boost the digital governance segment of the government. Moreover, the band, due to its lower frequency, provides wide coverage which reduces the number of towers required for setting up the network.

Thus, for the industry, the band effectively cuts down capital expenditure involved in the process of erecting towers. The cost of delivering mobile services in the 700 MHz band is around 70 percent cheaper than in the 2,100 MHz band used for 3G services.

 

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