Spectrum auction is coming as TRAI starts consultation

Spectrum auction result in October 2016
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has kicked off the process for selling spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands.

The India government is re-trying to sell 700 MHz and 900 MHz bands after a failed attempt to auction in October 2016.

Telecom industry stakeholders can submit comments to the consultation paper by 25 September 2017 and counter-comments by 3 October 2017 — to Syed Tausif Abbas, advisor (Networks, Spectrum and Licensing), TRAI on the email ID [email protected].

TRAI said the focus of the consultation paper is to identify value, reserve price and quantity of the spectrum in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands.

Operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications, among others are expected to join the spectrum auction. The India government is yet to indicate on the date for spectrum auction.

However, Indian telecom operators will be coy about spending this fiscal due to bleeding balance sheet.
India telecom operator revenueSpectrum in 3300- 3400 and 3400-3600 MHz bands will be available for auction for the first time. DoT earlier said the other spectrum bands for auction will be the sum of spectrum available due to expiry of license or spectrum that remained unsold in previous auctions.

TRAI said information of valuation of spectrum bands (800 MHz/900 MHz/1800 MHz/2100 MHz) is readily available.

But TRAI needs to figure out valuation of spectrum in 700/2300/2500/3300-3400 and 3400-3600 MHz bands.

TRAI has been giving its recommendation since 2013 on valuation and reserve price of 700/800/900/1800/2100 /2300/2500 MHz spectrum bands following a bottom-up approach (LSA-wise valuation using LSA-specific inputs) using different valuation approaches and the last recommendations were given in January, 2016.

DoT has sought recommendations from TRAI on reserve price for auction of right to use spectrum for all 22 LSAs in 700 MHz, 2300 MHz, 3300-3400 and 3400-3600 MHz bands, 19 LSAs in 800 MHz band, 5 LSAs in 900 MHz, 13 LSAs in 41 1800 MHz band, 21 LSAs in 2100 MHz band and 12 LSAs in 2500 MHz band.

In October, 2016, DoT conducted spectrum auction for 700 MHz (in 22 LSAs), 800 MHz (in 19 LSAs), 900 MHz (in 4 LSAs), 1800 MHz (in 21 LSAs), 2100 MHz (in 22 LSAs), 2300 MHz (in 16 LSAs) and 2500 MHz spectrum (in 22 LSAs).

The Indian mobile service providers are expecting that the India government will be offering spectrum at a much lower price as compared to the previous years to address the financial health of the telecom industry.

Baburajan K