DoT allocates 4G spectrum to telcos

On Friday the telecommunications department (DoT) completed the assignment of spectrum to telecom operators who purchased airwaves for 4G wireless service at the auction held in March. The government issued frequency assignment letters to bidders, according to an official statement.

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd was paid. 2,149.59 crore, while Bharti Airtel Ltd. deposited. 157.38 crore, taking the total to 2,306.97 crore received by the government for spectrum allocation. Both telcos made immediate payments, replacing the August-September, 2021 schedule, he said.

Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea Ltd participated in the two-day spectrum auction which closed on 2 March.

“Alongside the frequency assignment was a frequency reconciliation exercise, where spectrum blocks assigned to telecommunications service providers (TSPs) in the current spectrum auction have been made adjacent to their existing spectrum blocks, wherever that is possible, in various bands in various licensed service areas (LSAs), “the government said.

It harmonized spectrum in the 800MHz band in 19 LSAs, 900MHz in 8 areas, 1,800MHz band in 21 areas, 2,100MHz band in three zones, and 2,300MHz band in 16 telecommunication cycles. Spectrum reconciliation allows efficient use of operator-captured air waves, resulting in improved quality of service to consumers.

The government sold 855.6MHz of spectrum value 77,820.81 at the March auction. It had airwaves in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1,800MHz, 2,100MHz, 2,300MHz and 2,500MHz for sale. Of the total value of the spectrum sold, the DoT received an advance payment of 21,918.47 crore from the telecom operators on March 18, the statement said.

Reliance Jio, India’s largest telco by market share, emerged as the best bidder, buying spectrum value 57,122.65 crore in the first spectrum auction in more than four years. Purchase Airtel value spectrum 18,698.75 crore, while Vodafone Idea participation is limited. It was laying out value propositions 1,993.40 crore, mainly for spectrum renewal.

A total of 2,308.8MHz spectrum was placed under the hammer. Of the seven bands available for auction, demand for 800MHz and 2,300MHz bands was highest, while there were no receivers for the 700MHz and 2,500MHz bands. The 700MHz band was not sold at two consecutive auctions due to a high base price.

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