The DoT has released the official document with all the details about the upcoming mega spectrum auction which will see 9 spectrum bands being put up for sale and where telecom operators will bid for rights to use the coveted airwaves for the next 20 years. The focus of this year’s auction will be on 5G airwaves which will enable the operators to offer ultra-high speed and low latency data connectivity to its
The notice inviting applications (NIA) was released on 15th June and it outlines the details about the quantum of airwaves being put up for sale, the reserve price per block of spectrum, the minimum number of blocks which need to be bid for by the operator in a particular band in a circle and the earnest money deposit (EMD) needed to be eligible to place the bids.
|Issue of Notice Inviting Applications (NIA)||15/06/2022|
|Last date for seeking clarifications on NIA||22/06/2022|
|Clarifications to NIA||30/06/2022|
|Last date for submission of Applications||08/07/2022|
|Publication of Ownership details of Applicants||12/07/2022|
|Bidder Ownership Compliance Certificate||14/07/2022|
|Pre-qualification of Bidders||18/07/2022|
|Last date for withdrawal of Applications||19/07/2022|
|Final List of bidders||20/07/2022|
|Start of the Auction||26/07/2022|
|Payment of the Successful Bid Amount||Within 10 calendar|
days of the issue of
The NIA contains the details about the rollout obligations for the various frequency bands and the payment schedule to be followed. In this auction, the operators have been given the option to pay the spectrum fee either upfront or in 20 instalments which will be due annually with the first one being due immediately after the conclusion of the auction with no moratorium period. Operators would be allowed to surrender spectrum won in this auction after 10 years of assignment.
The spectrum usage charges (SUC) for spectrum won in this auction has been kept at 0% which will help operators save on their annual outgo expenses. For operators who buy mid-band and mm-wave spectrum in bulk, the effective SUC including spectrum won in previous auctions will become negligible.
Operators though will be cautious about buying mm-wave spectrum in bulk, since the use case for the enterprise segment remains limited as DoT has allowed tech companies to buy spectrum directly from DoT to set up the captive 5G networks in their premises. Operators would focus more on the mid-band n78 spectrum for commercial 5G rollouts.