COAI calls on government to cut base price of 5G spectrum by more than half


New Delhi: Telecommunications industry body COAI has reportedly asked the government to cut the base price of spectrum by more than half for the proposed auction, especially for 5G services, industry sources say.

In the first radio wave auction in five years in March 2021, the government offered 2,308.80 MHz of spectrum in seven bands, at a reserve price of almost Rs 4 lakh crore.

However, waves in the premium 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands remained unsold mainly due to the high base price.

The government was unable to auction the 3.3 to 3.6 Ghz frequency range because it could not release it in time and the base price for radio waves in the spectrum band was qualified. very expensive for 5G services.

“COAI has asked the government for a drastic reduction in the price of spectrum for the proliferation of digital connectivity and in particular for the launch of 5G services. It has asked the government to cut the base price by more than half in the auction spectrum, ”a representative telecommunications operator told PTI.

The proposed spectrum auction is expected to take place in the April to June 2022 quarter.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) declined to comment on the matter.

Representatives from two separate telecom operators cited different numbers on the scale of reduction demanded by the industry body, but agreed that IBOC has sought to cut the price of spectrum by more than half.

One representative said it was 50 to 60 percent and the other senior official from another telecommunications operator mentioned 60 to 70 percent.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had recommended a base price of Rs 492 crore per megahertz for the spectrum from 3.3 to 3.6 Ghz.

Telecom operators interested in purchasing radio waves for 5G will have to shell out a minimum of Rs 9,840 crore on a Pan-Indian basis to purchase spectrum in the 3,300-3,600 MHz band, as Trai suggested that it “should be auctioned in the 20 MHz block size.”

In May, the government allocated spectrum to telecommunications companies for testing at various locations for six months in the 700 MHz band, 3.3-3.6 gigahertz (Ghz) ​​band and 24.25- 28.5 Ghz.

Currently, 5G trials are underway in the country. The Telecom Department has extended the trial period until May 2022, or until the results of the spectrum auctions are released, whichever comes first.

Vodafone Idea demonstrated the highest download speed of around 4 gigabits per second during testing.

Telecommunications equipment maker Nokia India had claimed to have recorded a maximum speed of 9.85 gigabits per second on the VIL network in the back-end data transmission, which means connecting the network of mobile base stations, during the 5G trials in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

VIL conducted 5G trials in Gandhinagar with Nokia and in Pune with Ericsson.


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