The telecom regulator has suggested a much lower starting price for premium 4G airwaves in the 700 MHz band at Rs 6,568 crore a unit for the next spectrum sale, which is almost 43% below the earlier recommended base price of Rs 11,485 crore a unit for the same airwaves that was considered exorbitant and found no takers in the October 2016 auction.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has also recommended a starting price of Rs 492 crore a unit for 5G airwaves in the 3300-3600 Mhz band that will debut in the next sale.
The regulator has also pegged the price of airwaves in the 800 MHz band lower at Rs 4,651 crore a unit, which is 20% below the previously recommended price -- of Rs 5819 crore a unit -- for these equally sought after airwaves ideal for 4G services.
The Trai has recommended that the “entire available spectrum should be put to auction” in the next sale.
It has also suggested that the entire chunk of 5G airwaves available in the 3300-3600 MHz band, barring the 25-odd units being currently used by Isro, be made available for access services and be auctioned.
The regulator has also suggested that airwaves in the 3300-3600 Mhz band be auctioned as a single band, and recommended a block size of 20 units. It has also suggested a limit of 100 units of such 5G airwaves per bidder to avoid monopolisation.
The regulator has recommended base price of Rs 3,285 a unit for 1800 Mhz band on a countrywide basis. The government is yet to finalise the timing of the next round of auction.