Telecoms want changes in rollout obligations in spectrum auction

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Indian telecom service providers on Saturday urged government to consider merging the rollout issue in the upcoming spectrum auction to improve the quality of services and avoid call drop issues.

“The Department of Telecom should consider combining the current rollouts obligation with the previous auctions held last year,” the industry stakeholders said.

The operators were exchanging their views with the Department of Telecom in a pre-bid conference after the Notice Inviting Application for the upcoming telecom spectrum auction was rolled out by the government earlier in the week.

Harmonization of spectrum in the 2,100 MHz band before they are given spectrum after the auctions remained another concern for the telecom stakeholder. The 2,100 MHz band is used mostly for 3G and 4G services.

The queries of the operators will now be answered by the officials on or before August 19.

India’s next round of spectrum auction is set to begin on September 29, in what the government hopes will be the largest-ever spectrum auction – going by the overall base price of $84 billion and the quantum of airwaves on offer.

The 2,300-plus MHz of airwaves on the block for telecom operators is in seven bands — 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz and 2,500 MHz — as against 470.75 MHz in the previous round, which is set to fetch the exchequer $17 billion during its tenure.

The government has decided to allot the right to the spectrum won through auction for 20 years.