The Indian government is likely to hold the auction for 5G spectrum in India in early June this year. Speaking to the reporters, Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the Department of Telecom was working according to the expected timeline and that the focus is now on to resolve industry concerns around spectrum pricing. Also Read - Vodafone Idea opts defers payment of Rs 8,837 crore AGR dues, gets option to pay interest via equity
When asked about the expected schedule of the 5G spectrum auction, the minister said that it is expected to be in early June, PTI reported. Also Read - TRAI chief asks telecom companies, WiFi providers to work together to improve connectivity in India
“We are very much as per our timeline to conduct the auction,” he said. Also Read - DoT announces design-linked incentive scheme for manufacturers, extends PLI scheme for 5G ecosystem
It is worth noting that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI, has prepared a comprehensive 5G spectrum auction plan worth more than Rs 7.5 lakh crore, which includes the base price across multiple bands for radio waves that will be allocated over a span of 30 years.
TRAI’s plan includes auctioning one lakh megahertz spectrum for a span of 30 years. The value of auctioning the spectrum for 30 years stands at Rs 7.5 lakh crore. But if the government decides to allocate 5G spectrum for 20 years, the total value of the proposed spectrum auction will stand at around Rs 5.07 lakh crore.
The PTI report also states that the telecom regulatory body has reduced the price of the spectrum by about 39 percent compared to last price after telecom operators in the country, which includes the likes of Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea complained that the proposed rates of 5G spectrum in India were higher than global standards.
The telecom minister said that the Digital Communications Commission will take the final call on TRAI’s recommendations.
It is worth noting that reports earlier this year suggested that the 5G spectrum auction will take place in May this year after TRAI submitted its recommendation by March this year. However, there was a slight delay following which the regulatory body submitted its recommendations earlier this month. The delay raised concerns if there would also be a delay in the 5G spectrum auction in the country. However, the telecom minister had refuted the claims at the time saying that there would not be a delay in spectrum auctions.