India’s upcoming frequency auction, which was scheduled to be held in July this year, has been pushed back to September, the Business Standard reports citing communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The tender is expected to garner revenues of INR5.6 trillion (USD82.68 billion) and will see the government auctioning off more than 2,000MHz of spectrum across seven frequencies – including the 700MHz band which will be made available for the first time. Mr Prasad said: ‘We have cleared spectrum trading and sharing. Therefore, issues regarding spectrum have been addressed. In the next two to three months, 2,000MHz will be auctioned.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in January 2016 the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) published its recommendations on reserve prices for frequencies in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2500MHz bands for the spectrum auction, calling for the government to complete the spectrum harmonisation process in the 1800MHz band, and to carry out a similar re-assignment exercise in the 800MHz range before proceeding with the tender. Subsequently, in April India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) approved a decrease in spectrum usage charges (SUC) to 3% of annual gross revenues in an effort to attract bids.