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DoT postpones spectrum auction to June 6, 2024

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In Short:

The Department of Telecommunications has postponed the spectrum auction to June 6, 2024 due to general elections. Telecom operators requested the sale be deferred till after the polls which start on April 19, 2024. The results are set to be declared on June 4, 2024. The mock auction will now be conducted on June 3, 2024. The auction catalogue will be published for the first time, providing information on eligibility points, net worth, and more. Clarity has been provided on issues such as bank guarantees and spectrum assignment. The DoT has clarified that assigned spectrum for three months will not be included in telcos’ holdings.

DoT Defers Spectrum Auction to June 6, 2024

Hey there, exciting news! The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided to postpone the spectrum auction to June 6, 2024, all because of the upcoming general elections. Originally, the sale was supposed to kick off on May 20, 2024.

Changes in Auction Schedule

Following requests from telecom operators to delay the sale until after the elections, DoT has made changes to the notice inviting application (NIA). The elections are scheduled to start on April 19, 2024, with the results expected on June 4, 2024.

As a result of this adjustment, the mock auction will now take place on June 3, 2024, instead of the previously planned dates of May 13-14, 2024. The rest of the timetable remains unaffected.

Clarity on Auction Process

Exciting new developments! For the first time, DoT will be releasing an auction catalogue for the live auction. This catalogue will provide bidders with key information such as eligibility points, net worth, earnest money deposit (EMD), existing spectrum holdings, and details of licensed shared access (LSA)-bands up for auction.

But wait, there’s more! DoT has clarified that bank guarantees (BG) and performance bank guarantees (PBG) are not required for spectrum assignment, as they were revoked during telecom reforms. The NIA was updated after telecom operators raised this issue.

Additionally, providers can exclude provisional spectrum assigned for three months from their total holdings, when calculating spectrum caps.

DoT Stands Firm

Despite objections from telcos, DoT has maintained its position on certain matters. For example, telecom firms requested relief for under-utilized spectrum due to issues like interference or non-contiguity. DoT, however, has not budged on this issue.

So, there you have it – the latest updates on the deferred spectrum auction and the key clarifications provided by the Department of Telecommunications.

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