Why is the government revising the prices of 4G and 5G spectrum bands?


The long-awaited 5G spectrum auction is expected to take place soon as the government searches for ways to lower the price of the airwaves. The DoT is reportedly considering a new price for the 700 MHz, 3.3-3.6 GHz, 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands, which are expected to support the upcoming technology.

Why is the government revising the prices of 4G and 5G spectrum bands?

In addition, the Ministry of Telecommunications wants a new price for the 4G bands, including 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz. However, the consultation takes time and it could be difficult for TRAI to meet from January to February 2022.

It should be noted that this development comes at this time after the Ministry of Telecommunications realized that the high price of spectrum is the main reason for the financial strains in the telecommunications sector.

“We received a detailed reference from the DoT about 2-3 days ago, asking for our recommendations on spectrum issues and pricing… there are a number of spectrum bands involved, and the Authority is currently reviewing the reference. and will respond to the government, ”Trai secretary V Raghunandan was quoted by ET. However, he declined to give further details.

Reliance Jio and Airtel could participate in auction

Meanwhile, analysts believe that due to the four-year moratorium on dues, Reliance Jio and Airtel will be able to participate in the auction because their financial conditions are better. On the other hand, Vodafone-Idea could take an active participation in the auction because it fails to raise the funds.

The report also states that TRAI may need further details to initiate the consultation process and that after obtaining the referral from the Ministry of Telecommunications, TRAI may take four weeks to consult the issue with all stakeholders and two weeks for them. counter comments, then there will be an open debate. In fact, this whole process will take almost five months.

Importantly, telecom operators have been running 5G trials in India for the past two months and are expected to complete the whole process soon. However, without appropriate frequency bands, telecom operators will not be able to offer or start their services to their customers, which is why we expect the government to conduct an auction soon, at case where the DoT wants telecom operators to launch services before August 15, 2022..

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Article first published: Friday September 24, 2021, 12:49 PM [IST]

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