Mega Auction Of 4G Spectrum Starts From March 1; Govt Aims To Earn Rs 3.9 Lakh Crore, Jio Main Contender?
After a gap of 4 long years, the department of Telecommunications (DoT) has returned with a spectrum auction for 4G airwaves which will be conducted in March this year. The auction has been announced at critical time when there is a major upheave in consumption of data.
DoT has released an invite notice for all the telecom companies interested to buy various frequency bands whose ownership will be valid for 20 years.
Details Of The Spectrum Auction
On December 16, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved DoT’s proposal for auction to uplift the network capacity of the telecom sector. A total of 2,251.25 MHz of frequency band worth Rs 3,92,332.70 crore will be up for sale in this auction.
The Notice Inviting Application (NIA) circulated by DoT said,”A single auction process will be carried out for assigning spectrum blocks in various bands, viz. 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands… On behalf of the President of India, applications are invited from prospective bidders who meet the eligibility criteria for participating in the auction. Based on the applications, the government shall pre qualify applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for participation in the auction,”
The successful bidders will get a right to use the spectrum. This will further help the existing players to elevate their network capacities and will give a chance to the newcomers to start their own telecom services.
Timeline Of The Auction
The bidders will have to undergo a lot of procedures including a eligibility round before the final auction which is going to be conducted on 1 March.
According to reports, the process will start with a pre bid conference that is going to be conducted by the telecom department on 12 January at a time and venue unknown at present. The bidders will be given time till 15 January to clarify their doubts regarding the NIA. The last date to submit applications is set on 5 February. The submitted applications can not be withdrawn after 22 February.
Ownership details of the applicants will be published on 12 February followed by distribution of ownership compliance certificates which is scheduled on February 15. DoT will release the final list of all the eligible bidders on 24 February after a pre qualification round conducted on February 19.A mock action will be conducted on 26 February before the final auction.
The spectrum auctions have been conducted 6 times in the past 10 years. The winners of the recent edition of auction will have to pay the bid amount within 10 days of the issue of demand note. It will be interesting to know what the telecom companies will bring on board in the auction.