TRAI Chairman P D Vaghela on Tuesday termed the consultation paper on the 5G spectrum auction as a "watershed in the history of telecom" as the regulator embarked on the last phase of industry-wide deliberation through open house discussions, ahead of finalising its views on crucial aspects such as pricing of radio waves.
The government expects the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to give its recommendations on the 5G spectrum, by March. The spectrum auctions will be conducted in 2022, to facilitate the rollout of 5G mobile services within 2022-23, by private telecom providers.
As the country gears up for the mega auction, the industry has made an aggressive pitch for lowering spectrum pricing.
In his opening remarks during the TRAI Open House Discussion conducted virtually on Tuesday, Vaghela said, "This consultation paper is watershed in the history of the telecom and we are conscious of this fact."
Vaghela urged stakeholders to participate in Tuesday's discussion to support their suggestions with evidence and best practices.
Telecom regulator, TRAI, in November-end had released a detailed consultation paper to discuss threadbare the modalities for auction of spectrum across multiple bands, including pricing, quantum and other conditions -- preparing the groundwork for upcoming 5G auctions.
TRAI's comprehensive consultation paper runs into 207 pages and throws up 74 questions for industry-wide discussion, touching on crucial aspects like valuation and reserve price of spectrum, including 5G, quantum of the spectrum, block size, eligibility conditions for participation in the auction, roll-out obligations, spectrum cap, and surrender of the spectrum.
Norms will also be worked out for new frequencies such as 526-698 MHz and millimetre band, that is 24.25 - 28.5 GHz, in addition to bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz.