Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has
recommended reducing the base price of 5G airwaves, suggesting a 40% reduction
in the price of the 700 MHz band and a 36% reduction in the spectrum frequency
of 3300-3670 MHz bands. The regulator said it would attract competitive bidding
by major telecom operators like Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea.

Releasing its much-awaited recommendations, TRAI said
that all available spectrum in the existing bands of 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz,
1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz and the new spectrum bands of 600 MHz,
3300-3670 MHz and 24.25-28.5 GHz, will be put to auction.

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TRAI in its statement said, “To provide flexibility
to the telecom service providers, block size of 10 MHz for 3300-3670 MHz band
and 50 MHz for 24.25-28.5 GHz band recommended. Spectrum to be assigned in a
contiguous manner”.

TRAI further added that the pricing recommendations were
for a spectrum of 20 years. “The reserve price of spectrum allocation in
case of 30 years should be equal to 1.5 times the reserve price of spectrum
allocation for 20 years for the respective band,” it said.

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According to a PTI report, in all, the reserve price
across bands works out to be nearly 39% lower than that suggested last time.

For the prime 5G frequency of 3300-3670 MHz band, the
all-India reserve price adds up to Rs 317 crore per MHz, which is over 35% below
the Rs 492 crore/MHz suggested by TRAI last time.

In the 700 Mhz bands, the base price works out to Rs
3,927 crore per Mhz, which is 40% lower than last time.

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TRAI said that for the long-term growth and
sustainability of the telecom sector, infusing liquidity and encouraging
investment, the telecom service providers should be allowed easy payment
options, including part payment with the flexibility of moratorium.

The spectrum auctions are slated to be conducted in 2022,
to facilitate the rollout of 5G mobile services within 2022-23, by private
telecom providers. The next generation 5G will usher in ultra high-speeds and
spawn new-age services and business models.