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Vodafone Idea, Airtel, Jio and Adani to Get More 5G Spectrum in Future for Auction

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has launched a project to unlock and sell an additional 5,500 MHz of 5G spectrum, valued at more than Rs 35,000 crore. This comes shortly after the government received a record auction revenue of Rs 1.5 lakh crore.

According to a report by ET Telecom, officials say the Department of Transportation (DoT) has established an internal group to develop a plan to include 37.0-42.5 GHz as international mobile telecommunications (IMT) bands, allowing telecommunications companies use the spectrum. The millimeter wave band, commonly known as this, can be useful in providing 5G fixed wireless access services. Once the Department for Transport submits its proposal for the 37.0–42.5 GHz band, the matter is sent to a committee of secretaries, who will formally declare the band as IMT. Spectrum can be sold after that.

Spectrum base fee can exceed Rs 7 crore/MHz

This means that satellite companies like OneWeb, which is sponsored by the Bharti Group, and Reliance Jio’s joint venture with SES, as well as telecom operators, can buy airwaves. According to a Department of Transportation official, satellite players and telecom operators should co-exist in the band because the spectrum has numerous uses.

The DoT would approach the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to propose the base price for airwaves as well as other parameters related to the sale after the committee of secretaries gives its approval. Experts predicted that the base cost for the 37.0-42.5 GHz bands could be at a similar stage, as the industry regulator had suggested a pan-India price of Rs 6.99 crore per MHz for the band. 24.5-28.5 GHz for the 2022 auction. Since DoT wants to make this band available for telecom and satcom players, it could even be a bit higher.

Spectrum in these bands is currently being used by several satellite players for their earth stations. DoT believes that since only a small portion of the band is required for ground stations, satellite and telecommunications providers can co-exist there. In fact, an official from the Department of Transportation claimed that even though numerous nations, including the US, had already auctioned off these bands for 5G, India had been slow to announce them as IMT.

The 37.0-43.5 GHz range was approved as an additional band for IMT services during the 2019 International Telecommunication Union World Radiocommunication Conference. According to experts, this spectrum can potentially be used for private networks in addition to mobile and satellite services.

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