Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper on the next round of spectrum auction across nine bands that include 60 percent of unsold radio waves of the last bidding and 275 MHZ of two new bands meant for 5G services. While the Department of Telecom (DoT) has proposed to hold an auction in 2017, the telecom regulator has sought opinion on when the next round of auction should be held and whether it should done in a phased manner. The regulatory body has released the paper on auction of spectrum in the prized 700 MHz band, besides the existing 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, and 2500 MHz bands. The key issues raised are quantum of spectrum to be auctioned, optimal block size, duplexing scheme, spectrum cap, roll-out conditions, and methods to be used for valuation and estimation of reserve price of spectrum.

In the proposed spectrum auction, DoT plans to sell about 60 percent of total spectrum that remained unsold in the last auction. In addition, DoT has included two more bands – 3300–3400 MHz and 3400–3600 MHz – it plans to allocate for mobile services through the auction. According to TRAI, out of the 200 MHz band available in the 3400–3600 MHz band,
25 MHz spectrum (3400–3425 MHz) is identified for ISRO's use in Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). The remaining 175 MHz (3425–3600 MHz) spectrum is available for access services and the same can be put in the forthcoming auction. Last date for comments on this paper is September 25 and that of counter-comments is October 3, 2017.




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