TRAI Turns Down DoT Request for Revision in Spectrum Pricing

TRAI Turns Down DoT Request for Revision in Spectrum Pricing

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has not given in to the request of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to revise spectrum reserve prices. The Authority reiterates the spectrum valuation and reserve prices as contained in its recommendations dated August 1, 2018,” it said in its response to DoT’s letter seeking a price revision.

TRAI had fixed the base price for the 700 MHz band at 6,568 crore per MHz, below the 11,485 crore set in the 2016-17 auctions. The 700 MHz is considered good for 4G LTE.

In its 1st July letter, DoT had requested TRAI to revise the reserve spectrum prices, especially that of 700 MHz, considering the current condition of the telecom industry.

While the regulator said no to that, it did agree to some changes. It has agreed to DoT’s plea to mandate ‘no rollout obligations’ for spectrum in the 3,300-3,600 MHz band. Also, it has suggested a lock-in period of two years for this band, against the five years prescribed earlier.

Spectrum for 5G

TRAI had suggested auctioning the 3,300-3,600 MHz band, expected to be the primary band for 5G services, as a single band and in blocks of 20 MHz each at 492 crore per MHz. However, according to the operators, the pricing of the spectrum is ‘exorbitant’.

Since then, the Telcos have been asking for a price reduction. Subsequently, the Digital Communications Commission had decided to ask TRAI to reconsider its recommendations.

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