Telecom operators have asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to postpone the spectrum auction date by a day or two thus giving them a gap between the trial session and the actual bidding. Replying to their request, the DoT has said that it will consider the suggestion favorably. According to the time table of bid document called NIA, the mock auction is set to take place from September 26-27, whereas the actual auction is set to start from September 29, thus leaving only a day between the two events. Also Read - Airtel 5G service rollout: Airtel and Tata Group partner for Made in India 5G networkAlso Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAI
At the pre-bid meeting which took place yesterday, DoT officials interacted with telecom operators to clarify their doubts related to the forthcoming auction. Telecom operators expressed their concerns stating that the mock drill and the actual spectrum auction were cutting too close. Also Read - Airtel launches new Rs 456 prepaid plan: Check data, validity, call and other benefits
A representative of leading mobile operator also said that it is a big auction and should start from an auspicious day and not on September 29, which falls during the ‘Shradh’ rituals to pay homage to ancestors and people generally abstain from starting new work.
They were of the view that auctions should commence at least three days after the mock exercise is conducted. Speaking to the operators, PK Mittal, DDG, Access Services at DoT (Department of Telecom) said, “You send us proposal…we will consider it.”
The pre-bid conference was attended by representatives of various companies including RCom, Bharti Airtel, RJio, Idea, Vodafone, and Telenor amongst others. In the bidding round for the country’s biggest-ever spectrum auction, mobile radiowaves worth Rs 5.63 lakh crore at the base price value will be put up for sale.
The government will put up a total of 2,354.55 megahertz of mobile frequencies for auction in all bands — 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz. All the radiowaves being put for auction can be used for high speed 4G services.
The government expects to raise at least Rs 64,000 crore from the auction of about 2,354.55 Mhz of spectrum and Rs 98,995 crore from various levies and services in the telecom sector this financial year.
This is the first time radiowaves in 700 Mhz band will be put up for auction. This band is considered to be the most premium of all, as cost of providing service in it is one-third cost of 3G service in 2100 Mhz band.
The 700 Mhz band alone has potential to fetch bids worth Rs 4 lakh crore if all spectrum in it gets sold at the base price, although most telecom analysts have predicted a muted response in this band given the exorbitant pricing.
Soon after the NIA was issued, Edelweiss said in its report that it does not expect meaningful participation in 700MHz spectrum band due to high reserve price and relatively nascent 4G ecosystem. Deutsche Bank’s report also said it does not expect any sale of spectrum in the 700MHz due to its high price.