TRAI floats consultation paper on spectrum auction

New Delhi:  The Indian telecom regulator has floated a consultation paper on spectrum auction of various bands on Monday where it sought the stakeholders opinion on matters like when should the next spectrum auction be held and what should be the block size for bands that will be put up for auction among many other issues.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has sought written comments on the issues raised in the consultation paper from the stakeholders by September 25, 2017 and counter-comments by October 3, 2017

The consultation paper – ‘Auction of Spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands’ – asked the stakeholders: “In your opinion when should the next access spectrum auction be held?”

The new bands for auction would be 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz band.

The paper also asked if the spectrum auction is held now, should the entire spectrum be put to auction or should it be done in a phased manner.

“Do you agree that in the upcoming auction, block sizes and minimum quantity for bidding in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands, be kept same as in the last auction?” it asked.

The paper also talked about spectrum cap. “Is there a need to prescribe spectrum cap in bands 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz? What spectrum cap provisions should be kept for 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz spectrum bands?”

Since 700 MHz was first auctioned in 2016, which did not get a good response from buyers, the watchdog in its consultation paper has asked: “Whether the value of 700 MHz spectrum should be derived by relating it to value of other bands by using technical efficiency factor? Else, what valuation approach should be adopted for the valuation of 700 MHz spectrum band?”

It further asked: “Whether the realised/auction determined prices achieved in the October 2016 auction for various spectrum bands can be taken as the reserve price in respective spectrum bands for the forthcoming auction?”