Leading operators had requested the regulator to defer sale of 700 MHz spectrum, saying that ecosystem for providing services in this band was not developed and sale would lead to under-utilisation of the spectrum for several years and block industry's crucial fund.
Trai has recommended a record high base price of Rs 11,485 crore per Mhz for 700 Mhz alone. If all the available frequencies gets sold at Trai suggested price then it alone will yield a whopping Rs 4 lakh crore.
As per Trai's paper, the cost of delivering mobile services in 700 Mhz band is approximately 70% lower than 2100 Mhz band, which is widely used for 3G services.
The auction plan suggested by total potential revenue of Rs 5.36 lakh crore from the spectrum sale, expected to be held during May-June this year, is more than the double of gross revenues of telecom services industry. Telecom service providers had gross revenue of Rs 2.54 lakh crore in 2014-15 financial year.
Trai has used its old formula given in April 2012 spectrum price recommendation to fix price of 700 Mhz at four times of 1800 Mhz band spectrum price -- widely known as 2G spectrum.
Most of telecom operators who have purchased 1800 Mhz band in 2012 or later are using it for 4G services.
Mathews said that COAI also has objections on Trai's suggestion to reduce block size in 2300 Mhz band and 2500 Mhz band to 10 Mhz while in 2010 telecom operators like Infotel Broadband (now Reliance Jio), Airtel and Aircel were allowed to buy block of 20 Mhz.
"Government should give everyone equal opportunity. Across the world 20 Mhz block is a standard so it should be same in India," Mathews said.
Telecom operators will also raise issue of contiguous spectrum frequency in 1800 Mhz band.
"A contiguous spectrum will not only bring value for industry but also fetch good price in auctions," Mathews said.
While DoT has proposed to auction 21 Mhz of radiowave frequencies in 1800 Mhz band, Trai has suggested that on completion of harmonisation with defence it can increase to 201 Mhz spectrum in the same band.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.