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India’s Telecom Spectrum Auction: Cabinet Approves Measures to Boost Connectivity and Digital Leadership

8th February, 2024| By Business Desk
Telecom/Mobile Tower | Credit: Rawpixel
  • The Union Cabinet, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, approved a spectrum auction proposal to assign spectrum to successful bidders for telecom services, aiming to enhance service quality and coverage.
  • The auction encompasses various frequency bands, including 800 MHz to 26 GHz, with a total of 10,523.15 MHz offered at a reserve price of Rs 96,317.65 crore.
  • A Committee of Secretaries (CoS) was established to explore re-farming existing spectrum usages to meet future telecommunication needs.
  • The Cabinet also approved addressing spectrum requirements for rail-based transit systems like the NCRTC, enhancing safety and operational efficiency.
  • India’s prowess in digital technologies was highlighted, particularly its recognition for the fastest 5G rollout globally, with a commitment to leading in future 6G services.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a proposal by the Department of Telecommunications to conduct a spectrum auction aimed at assigning spectrum to successful bidders for providing telecom services. This decision is anticipated to enhance the quality of telecom services and expand coverage for consumers, as stated by the government in an official statement.

The spectrum auction encompasses bands in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz frequencies. Spectrum assignment will have a validity period of 20 years. A total of 10,523.15 MHz is slated for offering, with a valuation of Rs 96,317.65 crore at the reserve price.

Furthermore, the Cabinet established a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) tasked with evaluating the re-farming of existing spectrum usages to augment spectrum availability, thereby catering to the future requirements of telecommunication services.

In addition to the spectrum auction, the Cabinet sanctioned a proposal addressing the spectrum needs of rail-based urban/regional transit systems, such as the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), in the 700 MHz band for Automatic Train Protection (ATP) systems and operations.

The government emphasized India’s prominent position in digital technologies, highlighting the nation’s recognition for spearheading the fastest 5G rollout globally. Mobile communication serves as the conduit to a robust and equitable Digital India. Moreover, India is resolute in its ambition to lead in 6G services, anticipated to materialize over the next five years.