India approves auction of 5G spectrum

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has approved the Telecom department’s proposal to conduct a spectrum auction through which spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for providing 5G services to public and enterprises.

A total of 72097.85 MHz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put to auction to be held by the end of July, 2022. The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and High (26 GHz) frequency bands.

It is expected that the Mid and High band spectrum will be utilised by Telecom Service Providers to roll-out of 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities which would be about 10 times higher than what is possible through the current 4G services.

The Cabinet announced various progressive options with regard to the spectrum to be acquired by bidders through the forthcoming spectrum auction for facilitating ease of doing business.

For the first time ever, there is no mandatory requirement to make upfront payment by the successful bidders. Payments for spectrum can be made in 20 equal annual installments to be paid in advance at the beginning of each year.

The spectrum auction will be benefitted by the Telecom Sector Reforms announced in September, 2021.

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