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TRAI slashes 5g spectrum prices ; 526-612 MHz range to still be used by MIB

Telecom regulator Trai on Monday recommended a 35 per cent cut in the reserve price for prime 5G spectrum frequencies in 3300-3670 MHz band, at Rs 317 crore per MHz.

Releasing its much-awaited recommendations, Trai said that all available spectrum in the existing bands of 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz and the new spectrum bands of 600 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz and 24.25-28.5 GHz, will be put to auction.

“To provide flexibility to the telecom service providers, block size of 10 MHz for 3300-3670 MHz band and 50 MHz for 24.25-28.5 GHz band recommended. Spectrum to be assigned in a contiguous manner,” Trai said in a statement.

The regulator decided against auctioning airwaves in the 526-612 MHz range as this band is still being used by the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB).

“Since MIB is using the 526-582 MHz band extensively across the country for analogue TV transmitters, the 526-612 MHz frequency range should not be put to auction in the forthcoming sale,” Trai said in a statement.

In all, the reserve price across various bands works out to be nearly 39 per cent lower than that suggested last time, sources said.

For the prime 5G frequency of 3300-3670 MHz band, all-India reserve price adds up to Rs 317 crore per MHz, which is over 35 per cent lower than the Rs 492 crore/MHz suggested by Trai last time.

The base price for coveted 700 Mhz band works out to be Rs 3,927 crore per Mhz, which is 40 per cent lower than that proposed last time.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said that for the long-term growth and sustainability of the telecom sector, infusing liquidity and encouraging investment, the telecom service providers should be allowed easy payment options, including part payment with flexibility of moratorium.

The spectrum auctions are slated to be conducted in 2022, to facilitate the rollout of 5G mobile services within 2022-23, by private telecom providers. The next generation 5G will usher in ultra high-speeds and spawn new-age services and business models. PTI

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