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Eight-band spectrum auction scheduled for May 20, 2024.

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In Short:

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is holding a spectrum auction to enhance telecom services and ensure their continuity. The auction includes various spectrum bands and will be conducted through a SMRA e-auction process. The reserve price for the spectrum is Rs. 963.17 billion, with successful bidders able to pay in 20 annual installments. Companies have until April 22, 2024 to apply for the auction, which will begin on May 20, 2024. The auction aims to determine market prices transparently and boost competition. Companies need a UASL/UL permit to participate, and new entities can bid by agreeing to obtain a UL. Successful bidders are not required to provide FBGs or PBGs.

How Will the TRAI’s Mobile Number Portability Regulations Amendment Affect the Eight-Band Spectrum Auction?

The TRAI mobile number portability amendment is expected to have an impact on the upcoming eight-band spectrum auction. With the new regulations in place, mobile operators may need to reevaluate their strategies and investments to adapt to the changing landscape. It will be interesting to see how this amendment shapes the auction dynamics.

Is the Eight-band spectrum auction affected by the deadline extension for the Digital Competition Bill comments?

The government extends digital competition bill again, causing uncertainty for the eight-band spectrum auction. Potential bidders are hesitating due to the prolonged deadline for comments. This delay could impact the auction process and raise concerns among telecom companies. The industry eagerly awaits a resolution to this issue.

DoT kickstarts Spectrum Auction for Telecom Services Enhancement

Exciting news incoming! The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is all set to boost the telecom services with a Spectrum Auction. This move aims to enhance existing services and ensure a seamless experience for users. The official notice inviting applications (NIA) was issued on March 8, 2024, marking the beginning of this significant event.

Key Details of the Spectrum Auction:

  • Spectrum Up for Grabs: All available spectrum in key bands like 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and more will be part of the auction.
  • Auction Process: It will be a simultaneous multiple round ascending (SMRA) e-auction.
  • Reserve Price: The cumulative reserve price of 10523.15 MHz spectrum is Rs. 963.17 billion.
  • Spectrum Duration: Spectrum will be assigned for a period of 20 years.
  • Payment Plan: Successful bidders can pay in 20 equal annual installments at an interest rate of 8.65 per cent.
  • Surrender Option: Acquired spectrum can be surrendered after a minimum of ten years.
  • Spectrum Usage Charge: No SUC for spectrum obtained in this auction.

Interested companies have until April 22, 2024, to apply for the spectrum. A mock auction is scheduled for May 13 and May 14, 2024, with the actual bidding starting on May 20, 2024. The primary goals of the auction include setting a market-determined price for spectrum and fostering healthy competition in the sector.

Eligibility Criteria: Companies must possess a unified access services license (UASL)/unified license (UL) permit to participate. New entities can also bid by committing to securing a UL in the future. Notably, there is no requirement for a financial bank guarantee (FBG) or performance bank guarantee (PBG) for successful bidders.

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