India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has set the ball rolling for the country’s next spectrum auction, which will include frequencies compatible with 2G, 4G and potential 5G technologies, the Economic Times reports, citing a government official. The DoT has written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), asking the agency to set reserve price and determine band size and quantum of spectrum for the sale of frequencies in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 1800MHz, 2300MHz, 2500MHz and 3400MHz-3600MHz ranges. Whilst the DoT hopes to make 3400MHz-3600MHz airwaves available for 5G services, the official noted that some of the spectrum in the band is currently being used by the country’s space programme.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, during India’s last spectrum auction – held in October last year – cellcos paid out a total of INR658 billion (USD9.9 billion) for 964.8MHz of spectrum, though this represented less than half of the 2,300MHz of spectrum that was put up for sale. Indeed, despite the tender featuring frequencies in the sought-after 700MHz range for the first time, none of the participating bidders entered an offer for spectrum in the band, citing the high reserve prices: the frequencies carried a floor price of INR574 billion for 2×5MHz of pan-India spectrum.