The Defence Ministry has agreed to vacate telecom spectrum worth Rs 30,000 crore that will be put up for sale in the auction scheduled to begin in July. As a result of spectrum swap agreement between DoT and Defence, 15 Mhz of 3G spectrum in each of 22 telecom circles and 201 Mhz of spectrum in 1800 Mhz band would be available for mobile services. “The Defence has agreed to handover spectrum in 2100 (3G) and 1800 Mhz bands as was requested by the Department of Telecom. At base price, the value of spectrum is Rs 30,000 crore,” an official source told. Also Read - Vodafone CEO Nick Read to visit India this week; will seek bailout: ReportAlso Read - BSNL 4G VoLTE service may roll out on a larger scale; testing for 30 devices underway
With this, the total value of airwaves to be put up for sale will increase to Rs 5.66 lakh crore — making it the biggest spectrum auction ever in the country. Telecom ministry had proposed to exchange 15 Mhz spectrum it holds in 1900 Mhz band with same quantum of airwaves held by the Defence in 2100 Mhz band. The 2100 Mhz band is currently used for 3G mobile services. In January 2015, the Union Cabinet had approved swapping of spectrum between Ministries of Telecom and Defence in and Also Read - BSNL agrees to lay off 54,000 employees, but waiting for elections to be over: Report
In January 2015, the Union Cabinet had approved swapping of spectrum between Ministries of Telecom and Defence in and process was to be completed in a year as part of harmonisation of all radiowaves among all ministries. All ministries and departments like Aviation, Space, Prasar Bharti, Defence, Telecom etc that are holding spectrum were asked to harmonise radiowaves among themselves, identify timeline by when will they be able to vacate spectrum not marked for them in 4-5 years. For 3G spectrum in 2100 band, Trai suggested pan-India base price of Rs 3,746 crore.
The inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission is expected to meet on June 7 to further discuss spectrum auction modalities. Government expects to earn a total revenue of Rs 99,000 crore from the telecom sector this fiscal.