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Will the Union Cabinet bite the spectrum pricing bullet?

The Digital Communications Commission has stuck to the base price suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for its 5G spectrum auction proposal, which is likely to be placed before the Union cabinet for final approval next week, an official source said on Tuesday.

The DCC, the apex decision making body of the department of telecom (DoT), has also decided not to auction the spectrum between 27.5Ghz and 28.5 GHz and to leave it for satellite services.

“The DCC has firmed up its view. It will give recommendation to the Cabinet for final approval of the auction plan. There is no change in the base price that TRAI has recommended,” the official said.

Telecom operators have opposed the base price recommended by the regulator. TRAI had recommended a base price for 27.5-28.5 GHz range and suggested that it can be used for both mobiles as well as satellite services.

The regulator in its reply to the DoT last week left it to the government to decide if they wanted to auction airwaves in the 27.5 and 28.5 GHz range. The DCC has approved TRAI’s proposal to allow setting up of 5G network for captive use.

TRAI had mooted a plan valued at over Rs 7.5 lakh crore at the base price across multiple bands for radiowaves allocated over 30 years. PTI

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