TRAI floats consultation paper on auction of spectrum in three new bands

New Delhi, April 4

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday sought stakeholders’ views on the auction of three new spectrum bands — 37–37.5 GHz; 37.5–40 GHz; and 42.5–43.5 GHz — for mobile services, and released a consultation paper to discuss issues related to pricing, validity and the payment terms of these radio waves.

Meanwhile, auction of spectrum in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz, 2,500 MHz, 3,300 MHz, and 26 GHz bands is scheduled from June 6.

The proposal for auction of spectrum in the 37-37.5 Ghz, 37.5-40 Ghz and 42.5-43.5 Ghz bands will make available 4,000 Mhz of spectrum for 5G services in each Licensed Service Area (LSA), TRAI said, adding that while the 37-37.5 GHz band is for mobile services, the other two bands — 37.5-40 GHz and 42.5-43.5 GHz — are for mobile and Satellite Gateway links.

The regulator has sought industry’s opinion on various aspects of the proposed auction of spectrum in these new bands, including pricing, validity, preferred block size, spectrum caps, roll-out obligations, and other terms and conditions.

“Whether the entire available spectrum in each of the frequency ranges 37-37.5 GHz, 37.5-40 GHz, and 42.5-43.5 GHz, should be put to auction for IMT … In case you are of the opinion that any of the frequency ranges should be put to auction at a later date, what should be the timelines for auctioning of such frequency bands for IMT,” it asked.

It also asked if spectrum in these frequencies should be assigned for a validity period of 20 years, as prevalent in the existing frequency bands, or for a shorter period.

It further asked, “Whether the value of spectrum in the three spectrum bands should be derived by relating it to the auction determined price/ value of spectrum in any other band, by using the spectral efficiency factor.”

TRAI has asked industry to submit written comments by May 2, and counter-comments by May 16.

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