Govt likely to sell 202 MH of spectrum in July, raise around Rs5,36,000 cr

The government is likely to raise a whopping Rs5,36,000 crore through fresh sale of radio spectrum with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) commencing auction of 202 MHz of the spectrum around mid-July, reports said.

DoT is expected to get around 202MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band due to harmonisation of airwaves, and DoT is expected to put it for auction around mid-July, reports said, adding that the first phase of spectrum harmonisation is about to be completed and the released airwaves will be put for sale.

The spectrum is being made available after the cabinet early last year approved the setting up of a 'Defence Band', which would be exclusively used by defence forces, while making available the remaining radio waves for commercial use in areas like telecom and broadcasting.

However, the spectrum bands need to be harmonised before being made available for commercial use.

The DoT is looking to commence the spectrum auction around mid-July, which may fetch the government a whopping Rs. 5,36,000 crores.

Meanwhile, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had submitted recommendations for base price for spectrum in seven bands, including 700MHz band, which will be auctioned for the first time.

Trai, incidentally, had recommended a record high base price of Rs11,485 crore per MHz for the 700MHz band, although it is under review.

An inter-ministerial panel, the Telecom Commission, has already discussed Trai's recommendations on the reserve price and quantum of airwaves to be put for sale.

The panel has sought some clarifications from Trai regarding the band, and the regulator is likely to reply next week.

The government expects annual revenues of Rs98,995 crore from telecom services in 2016-17, which includes proceeds from spectrum auction and other fees levied by the DoT.