Start of new era for Indian Telecom: Vaishnaw on 5G spectrum auction

AgenciesUpdated: Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 05:28 PM IST
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Start of new era for Indian Telecom: Vaishnaw on 5G spectrum auction | PTI

The spectrum auction for 5G services marks the beginning of a new era for Indian telecom, Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Wednesday.

The comment assumes significance as the Union Cabinet has approved the modalities for holding 5G spectrum auction, and 72 GHz of radio waves will be put on the block by July-end.

Spectrum auction will commence on July 26, 2022.

The Cabinet also decided to enable the development and setting up of 'Private Captive Networks' to spur a wave of innovation in new-age industry applications such as machine-to-machine communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) across automotive, healthcare, agriculture, energy, and other sectors.

"The beginning of a new era for Indian Telecom. 5G spectrum auction announced," Vaishnaw tweeted.

Continuing the telecom reforms agenda, development and setting up of Private Captive Networks will be enabled, he wrote.

"Moving forward with PM @narendramodi ji's vision of a Digital India. Spectrum auction announced today is an integral part of developing #BharatKa5G ecosystem," Vaishnaw said.

Cabinet has approved 5G auctions at reserve prices recommended by the sector regulator TRAI. TRAI had recommended around a 39 per cent cut in the reserve or floor price for the sale of 5G spectrum for mobile services.

All the available spectrum in 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz bands is part of the auction.

Overall, 72097.85 MHz of spectrum has been put to auction. The auction shall be a Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending (SMRA) e-auction.

“With the much awaited cabinet approval for 5G auctions in place, we can expect the auctions to be held sooner. Wide availability of spectrum across all bands is encouraging as potential bidders can opt for spectrum bands and quantum as per their strategy. Having said that, the base prices for spectrum remains an issue for the bidders who were expecting a much lower price. Clarity around captive spectrum allocation to enterprises directly has been another issue,” said Jaideep Ghosh, Chief Operating Officer, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

Spectrum acquired through this auction can be surrendered after a minimum period of ten years. There will be no Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) for spectrum acquired this time.

Spectrum will be assigned for a period of 20 years.

The requirement for a successful bidder to submit a Financial Bank Guarantee (FBG) and Performance Bank Guarantee (PBG) has been done away with.

Licensees can set up isolated captive non-public networks for industries using the spectrum acquired through this auction.

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