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Cabinet likely to approve spectrum auction guidelines on Wednesday

The Union Cabinet is likely to approve on Wednesday guidelines for the next round of spectrum auction which may begin in the last week of January, sources said.

The upcoming auction may not have radiowaves identified for 5G services.

‘The spectrum auction note has been submitted to the Cabinet. It may come for a decision at Wednesday’s meeting,’ a source said.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had recommended a plan to auction spectrum worth Rs 5.22 lakh crore. However, some of the spectrum frequencies identified by the DoT for auction are being used by the defence ministry and the Department of Space.

According to Jio, spectrum worth Rs 3.92 lakh crore is lying unused with the DoT for auction.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has identified 300 megahertz (Mhz) of spectrum blocks for 5G services. However, the defence ministry and Department of Space (DoS) have made claims for about 125 mhz of spectrum, leaving only 175 Mhz of airwaves for telecom companies.

Trai has recommended base price of proposed 5G spectrum in 3,300-3,600 Mhz band at about Rs 492 crore per Mhz unpaired spectrum on pan-India basis. This comes to around Rs 50,000 crore for 100 Mhz of 5G spectrum required to deliver 5G services.

The DoT has selected public sector firm MSTC for designing and developing spectrum auction software. However, due to claims of DoS and the defence ministry, the process of auction got delayed. PTI

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