DoT pushes spectrum auction to H2 2019

18 Dec 2018

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has postponed the upcoming spectrum auction until H2 2019, the Economic Times reports, citing Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan. According to the official, the ministry is working on the recommendations of its 5G task force, having already received preliminary recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regarding pricing and the frequencies to be auctioned. The DoT has long indicated that the sale would take place in H1 2019 but had not published a timeline for the process. Complicating the process for the government has been the lack of unity amongst operators on when the auction should be held or what spectrum should be offered. Disruptive newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) has called for all available spectrum be put for sale immediately, whilst debt-laden market leader Vodafone Idea asked for the sale to be put on hold to address the financial health of the industry, whilst Bharti Airtel asked that only the 4G spectrum be sold, and the 5G frequencies be held for a future tender.