Spectrum allocation. | Representative image (PC-Reuters)
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on April 16 completed assigning spectrum to telecom operators who bought airwaves for 4G wireless service in the Spectrum Auction, 2021, conducted on March 1 and 2. DoT even issued frequency assignment letters to successful bidders.
For the spectrum, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd paid Rs 2,149.59 crore, while Bharti Airtel Ltd deposited Rs 157.38 crore, the government said in an official statement. Combining the total deposit, the government received Rs 2,306.97 crore for the allocation of spectrum. The government said that both telcom firms made immediate payments, instead of the schedule in August-September, 2021.
4G Spectrum Auction: 37% of spectrum on offer sold, bids exceeded govt expectations
“The frequency assignment was accompanied by a frequency harmonisation exercise, whereby spectrum blocks assigned to telecom service providers (TSPs) in the current spectrum auction have been made contiguous with the spectrum blocks already held by them, wherever possible, in various bands in different licensed service areas (LSAs),” the government statement said.
“The harmonisation of spectrum was accomplished in 19 LSAs in 800 MHz band, 8 LSAs in 900 MHz band, 21 LSAs in 1800 MHz band, 3 LSAs in 2100 MHz band, and 16 LSAs in 2300 MHz band. The harmonisation exercise facilitates more efficient utilisation of spectrum held by TSPs, leading to improved quality of service for consumers,” the statement added.
The Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the Spectrum Auction 2021 acquired a total quantity of 855.60 MHz of spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, and 2300 MHz bands.
Among other details, the government said that the total quantity of spectrum acquired is Rs 77,820.81 crore to be payable by the successful bidders. Out of this amount, Rs 21918.47 crore was received as upfront payment from the TSPs on March 18, 2021.
During the bidding, Reliance Jio emerged as the top bidder, which bought spectrum worth Rs 57,122.65 crore in the first spectrum auction in more than four years. Airtel purchased spectrum worth Rs 18,698.75 crore. Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea placed bids worth Rs 1,993.40 crore which included spectrum renewal.
In the auction, the DoT had put 2,308.8MHz spectrum for bidding. Among the seven bands, demand for 800MHz and 2,300MHz bands was the highest. However, 700MHz and 2,500MHz bands found no takers due to the high base price.
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