Spectrum Auction (4G Spectrum)

Spectrum Auction (4G Spectrum) – Spectrum in India 

  • Recently, the Department of Telecommunications has announced the commencement of auction of 4G spectrum from 1 March.
  • After the approval of the Union Cabinet, the bidding process for the sixth round of auction of spectrum of radio waves costing Rs 3.92 lakh crore will start in the country from March 1, 2020.
  • This long-awaited spectrum auction is being conducted after a gap of four years and more than two years after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has calculated and recommended the base / reserve price for radio waves.

Last Auction: 4G Spectrum 

  • Earlier the last spectrum auction was done in the year 2016. The need for a new spectrum auction arose because the validity of the airwaves purchased by the companies is due to expire in the year 2021.
  • In December 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the sale of 2251.25 MHz spectrum (for 4G) in seven frequency bands at a reserve price of Rs 3.92 lakh crore.

Major objectives of spectrum sales:

  1. Acquiring market-determined prices for available spectrum,
  2. Ensuring efficient use of spectrum and eliminating hoarding,
  3. Increase competition in the field and earn maximum revenue.

How does the auction take place?

  • All publicly available assets within the geographical boundaries of the country are owned by the central government, including the airwaves.
  • With the increase in the number of cellphones, wireline telephone and internet subscribers in the country, more space needs to be provided for signals from time to time.
  • At the same time, the necessary infrastructure has to be prepared to carry these waves from one end to the other.
  • These air-waves are auctioned from time to time by the Central Government through the Department of Telecommunications (Ministry of Communications) to sell these assets to companies wishing to create this infrastructure.
  • Under the spectrum auction process, the government uses the auction method to sell the rights to broadcast signals over specific bands of the electromagnetic spectrum and hand over scarce spectrum resources to business groups.
  • These airwaves are called spectrums, which are divided into bands of different frequency.
  • All these airwaves are sold for a fixed time, after which they cease to be valid; this period is usually set for 20 years.

Auction of spectrum in India

Devices such as cell phones and wire-line telephones require signals to interconnect. These signals act on the airwaves and for signal-free transmission, these signals are sent at specific frequencies.

  1. All publicly available assets within the geographical boundaries of the country are owned by the central government, including airwaves.
  2. With the increase in the number of cellphone, wire line telephone and internet users, these signals need to be given more space from time to time.
  3. The Central Government conducts auctions of airwaves from time to time through the Department of Telecommunications to sell these assets to companies wishing to create infrastructure for broadcasting these signals.
  4. These atmospheres are called spectrums. These spectrums are subdivided into bands with different frequencies.
  5. All these aircraft are sold for a fixed period of time. Generally, this period is set to 20 years, and their validity ceases after the completion of the period.

Contestants to participate in the spectrum auction:

All the three private sector telecom business groups, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone-Idea (Vi), are eligible to purchase additional spectrum to facilitate the increasing number of users on their network.

Source: Indian Express

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