NEW DELHI: The government is unlikely to cut the reserve prices for 5G spectrum in the auctions scheduled for later this year. An official informed that the government seems to be in no mood to slash the price of the 5G spectrum for telecom operators.
For the past few months, all the private telecom operators in India have advocated for rationalisation in prices for 5G airwaves, which they think are exorbitant. They have urged the government to cut the base price of spectrum by more than half for the upcoming 5G auction. “It is on their part to request for the low price for the spectrum, but the government is not going to do it,” said the official.
Last year, in the first auction of radio airwaves the government offered 2,308.80 MHz of spectrum in seven bands at a reserve price of nearly Rs 4 lakh crore. The airwaves in the premium 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands went unsold mainly due to the high base price. Also, the government could not put 3.3-3.6 GHz frequency range for auction as it could not get it vacated in time and the base price of the band was termed to be very expensive for 5G services.
The proposed spectrum auction is likely to be held before August. The government wants to showcase the auction of 5G spectrum as an achievement during its 75th Independence Day celebration. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is expected to come out with its recommendations for the upcoming 5G auction by March end.