Pan India Telecom Spectrum holding chart 2023

The basic concepts of telecom airwaves explained in a nutshell. A bird’s eye view of the entire spectrum holding of all telecom operators in India.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 13 seconds

Spectrum is for telecommunication what fuel is for aviation. Spectrum is a range of electromagnetic frequencies or airwaves which are used by telecom companies for establishing a connection between a cell tower and a mobile phone. The bandwidth of this spectrum is directly proportional to the speed of a wireless data network (since more data can be transmitted simultaneously through a broader data pipeline) whereas the frequency is inversely proportional to the coverage (since lower frequencies penetrate better through physical barriers and thus have wider coverage).

The spectrum holding data sheet embedded in this article represents the current spectrum holdings of all active telecom operators across all frequency bands across all 22 telecom circles along with their liberalisation status and expiry dates (Except for BSNL spectrum since it is a PSU and expiry is at the discretion of the DoT). All figures represented are in MHz. The value mentioned in the bracket beside the frequency at the base of each sheet is the band number where ‘B’ stands for 4G LTE band whereas ‘n’ stands for the corresponding 5G NR band.

Spectrum Liberalisation:

Spectrum was administratively allocated to operators in each of the 22 licensed service areas or circles pre 2010, this spectrum is called non-liberalised and can only be used for 2G services whereas all airwaves allotted post-2010 has been through a Spectrum Auction where operators have paid market discovered price and this spectrum is called liberalised and can be used for any technology platform 2G/3G/4G/5G. Alternatively, operators may choose to liberalise their administratively allotted spectrum by paying the market discovered price to DoT on a pro-rata basis for the remaining validity of the spectrum.

Paired and Unpaired spectrum:

Spectrum may be paired or unpaired, bands 1/3/5/8/28/105 are all paired where one set of frequencies is used for uplink whereas another distinct set of frequencies is used for downlink known as Frequency-division duplexing (FDD), whereas bands 40/41/78/258 are unpaired where both uplink and downlink happens in the same set of frequencies separated by the time of uplink and downlink known as Time-division duplexing (TDD).

List of Indian FDD Bands:

4G LTE band5G NR bandUplink frequency range (MHz)Downlink frequency range (MHz)Bandwidth for telecom (MHz)Block size (MHz)
* Bandwidth for Mumbai, Kolkata & Haryana circles is 65×2 MHz and for Kerala & Odisha circles it is 70×2 MHz
** Bandwidth for Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and North East circles is 15×2 MHz

List of Indian TDD Bands:

4G LTE band5G NR bandFrequency range (MHz)Bandwidth for
telecom (MHz)
Block size (MHz)
B41n412535-2555 2635-26554010
* n78 is a sub-band of n77
** n258 is a sub-band of n257

Spectrum caps:

There is a spectrum cap that dictates how much spectrum a particular operator can hold in a circle in a particular band. There is a 40% cap for Sub-GHz spectrum in the 600/700/850/900 MHz bands combined, a 40% cap for Mid-Band spectrum in the 1800/2100/2300/2500 MHz bands combined, a 40% cap for the C-Band spectrum of 3300-3630 MHz and a 40% cap for the mm-Wave spectrum bands of 24.65-27.5 GHz. The current spectrum caps are denoted in the spectrum chart.

Overall spectrum holdings of operators (in GHz):

Andhra Pradesh 1.210.310.93
Himachal Pradesh
Jammu & Kashmir
Madhya Pradesh 1.250.990.540.93
North East1.2310.080.93
Tamil Nadu1.210.410.93
UP East1.2210.390.93
UP West1.2310.490.93
West Bengal1.210.540.93
All figures are in GHz and are thus rounded off to two decimal values

Spectrum sharing/trading/leasing guidelines:

  • Telecom operators holding CMTS/UASL/UL licenses can enter into a Spectrum Sharing agreement with each other so long as both parties hold liberalised spectrum in the same band in the same circle. Sharing of spectrum is possible only on a Pan LSA level in block sizes defined by DoT and only after one year of the spectrum being acquired by an operator.
  • Telecom operators holding CMTS/UASL/UL licenses can enter into a Spectrum Trading agreement with each other so long as the spectrum being sold is liberalised. Trading of spectrum is possible only on a Pan LSA level in block sizes defined by DoT and only after two years of the spectrum being acquired by an operator.
  • Telecom operators may enter into a Spectrum Leasing agreement only with Enterprises holding a Captive Non-Public Network (CNPN) license and not with each other. The lease may be limited to any geographic area within the LSA and for any duration mutually agreed upon by both parties. A CNPN licensee can lease spectrum from more than one operator within an LSA.

Note: We update this chart in real-time to ensure it is always up to date with the latest changes in spectrum holding. Certain human errors might have crept in during the manual compilation of the data, any mistakes/ rectification can be brought to the notice of the Team through the comments section below.

Thank you for reading OnlyTech! For the latest tech news, follow us on Twitter, Google News, Telegram and Facebook. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Avatar of Esmail Beguwala
Esmail Beguwala

Senior Editor

Esmail is passionate about the Telecom spectrum, Broadband data services, and video streaming devices. When not writing an article, you can find him binge-watching shows on OTT apps, while sipping on a cup of coffee.

Comments (1360)Forum replies (168)

Loading new replies...

Have updated the spectrum holding for Vodafone Idea after the recent disclosure in the Q4 report. Liberalisation status for 900 and 1800 MHz holdings updated. 1800 MHz spectrum bought in 2012 auction in a block size of 1.25 MHz has been rounded up to the next higher number divisible by a 0.2 MHz block size so as to keep uniformity with the block size followed in all subsequent auctions for this band.

Reply 4 Likes

4G LTE and 5G NR band details with frequency range and bandwidth used by Indian Telecom details added in tabular form.

Reply 3 Likes

1,528 comments add your comment

  1. @Esmail thanks for sheet update.

    Please tell how airtel & Vi uses same spectrum for 2G & 4G if the BW is just 5 MHz?

    • I didn’t get your question exactly, if it’s about a particular band and specific circle please mention it.
      If it’s a general question then the only way an operator can use a 5Mhz block for both 2G and 4G simultaneously is if they go for narrow band deployment of 3 MHz on 4G and remaining 2 MHz for 2G.
      Or they can have that 5 MHz block being used for 4G on cell sites in one part of the circle and for 2G on cell sites in another part of the circle.
      On the other hand if you ask about same spectrum block being used for 4G and 5G then that can easily be done through dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology where the cell sites can decide whether to use the spectrum for 4G or 5G depending on the devices connected to the tower at any given time. If more 4G devices are connected then most of it will be used for 4G and if more 5G capable devices are connected then most of it will be used for 5G.

    • Wow thanks for the information,

      Yes I wanted to know the generally but how can It shows for example:-
      In Delhi NCR – 5Mhz of 900 band used for 2G & 4G but in 4G it shows full 5MHz instead of 3 MHz narrow band?
      In a 2G/4G scenario it can be only like this 3Mhz for 4G & 2Mhz for 2G if used on a same bandwidth at same location for both networks?

    • In the example you have given it is likely that the entire 5 MHz in the 900 MHz band is being used for 4G only and the 2G operations are shifted to the 1800 MHz band.

    • Hi, Esmail sorry for incorrect message.
      I wanted to say like in Delhi Circle AIRTEL has 2G & 4G on 900 MHz and still 4G shows full 5Mhz BW.

    • *Delhi NCR Vi 2G works on 1800 Band along with 4G & it shows 10Mhz but Airtel uses 900 for 2G/4G both on 5Mhz BW

    • Ericsson for Haryana Circle (Earlier it was ZTE).

    • Punjab – ZTE/Nokia LTE being swapped to Samsung for 5G. Haryana ZTE to Ericsson for 5G

    • I think 4G LTE will also be swapped to Ericsson for Haryana circle since Airtel is deploying 5G NSA and 5G NSA requires same vendors for both 4G and 5G. Similarly, I think for Punjab circle 4G will be swapped to Samsung along with 5G deployment by Samsung.

Leave a Comment

Visit our forums

Join the discussions with thousands of active members who share the same interests as you and learn something new...