Cabinet approves telecom spectrum auctions at base price of Rs 96,317.65 crore

08:07 AM Feb 09, 2024 | PTI |

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved auctions in eight spectrum bands for mobile phone services at a base price of Rs 96,317.65 crore, information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur said.


The Cabinet has approved interim allocation to telecom operators, the minister said.

Spectrum, held by certain companies undergoing insolvency process, that are expiring this year, will also be put on auction, the minister said.

All the available spectrum in 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands will be put on auction.

“Total 10,523.8 Mhz spectrum will be auctioned. Reserve price will be determined using suitable indexation,” Thakur said.


The reserve price will be Rs 96,317.65 crore.

“Existing telecom service providers can continue use of spectrum by paying auction-determined prices during the interim period to prevent disruption in telecom services,” Thakur said.

The approval has come just a day before expiry of Bharti Airtel spectrum in five circles.

Telecom spectrum of Bharti Airtel in five circles is expiring on February 9 and another one in March. Spectrum of Vodafone Idea is also expiring in West Bengal and UP West, for which the company needs permission to continue using the airwaves.

The cabinet has also decided on re-allocation as well as additional spectrum allocation for the transport system to enhance passengers’ safety.

The government had provisionally assigned 5 MHz spectrum in the 700 MHz band for National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC).

The cabinet has decided that the 5 MHz spectrum reserved for NCRTC will be assigned to multiple regional and urban rail-based transit systems and considering the additional requirement for national roll-out of Kavach, additional 5 MHz in 700 MHz spectrum will be reserved for Indian Railways.

The spectrum allocation for transport systems including railways has been done to improve passenger safety and operations of these transportation systems.

The Cabinet has decided to set up a committee under the Cabinet Secretary to finalise a plan for re-farming of certain spectrum bands.

The minister said more than 4.2 lakh base stations have been deployed in 14 months, covering 740 districts.

He said the world’s fastest roll-out of 5G services has been in India and with more than 13 crore subscribers using 5G services, India is now the world’s second largest 5G ecosystem.


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