“The government is considering sending a reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), seeking its recommendations on issues involved in auction of spectrum available for International Mobile Telecommunications (read: 5G) services,” minister of state for communications Devusinh Chauhan told Rajya Sabha Thursday.
He, though, did not reveal any specific 5G auction timeline.
India’s top telcos have repeatedly urged DoT to cut 5G spectrum base prices quickly, failing which they’ve warned that the country could be staring at a third failed auction in the near future. In fact, they have called on the government to push Trai to reset the reserve price of the coveted 700 Mhz band, by bringing it on par with those of other sub-Ghz bands such as 800 Mhz and 900 Mhz in the upcoming 5G spectrum sale.
In the recent March spectrum auctions, the telcos for the secon successive sale gave the 700 MHz band a miss, due to what they said was its high base price.
The DoT, on its part, has indicated previously that unsold 700 Mhz spectrum may be offered in the 5G auction along with those in the 3.3-3.6 Ghz bands, currently earmarked for 5G services.
The DoT has already allotted 5G trial spectrum in the 700 Mhz, 3.5 Ghz and 26 Ghz bands to the telcos paving the way for Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to partner with network vendors and develop India-relevant use cases on the next-gen fast wireless broadband technology.