State-owned Indian telecoms provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has approached India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) with a view to buy a 5MHz block in the 700MHz spectrum band via the equity route, The Hindu writes. BSNL managing director Anupam Shrivastava was cited as saying: ‘We are proposing that 700MHz spectrum comes to us and in lieu of that, the paid-up equity of the government can increase to that extent in BSNL.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, a frequency auction was held in October 2016, where a large amount of spectrum went unsold. The 700MHz band, which was made available for the first time in the auction and carried a price tag of more than INR4 trillion (USD59.8 billion) for the entire holding across all 22 circles, saw no interest from the bidders due mainly to high prices. Premium radiowaves in the 700MHz band were set at a base price of INR114.85 billion, and industry body the GSMA have urged the government to reconsider their fees in order to encourage buyers.