India will make spectrum in the 3.3GHz bandwidth available at its forthcoming auction


The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has defended its pricing for its forthcoming spectrum auction that will underpin the rollout of 5G networks on the sub-continent.

TRAI has set a price of 492 crore Indian rupees ($66.4 million) per Mhz of 5G spectrum.

“We are hopeful that the auction will take place on the 5G front, there is no reason for us to think it will not happen. With respect to people saying that the auction prices are higher, we have applied the same principle which we had also used in the past, to arrive at the estimation of the reserve price,” TRAI chairman, RS Sharma, told India’s Financial Chronicle website.

With blocks being auctioned off in 20MHz blocks, Indian telcos will be obliged to spend a minimum of 9,840 crore Rupees ($1.4 billion) to secure spectrum at the auction.

India remains one of the world’s toughest markets in which to turn a profit, as ultra fine margins send telcos into a race to the bottom on price. The fear is that by artificially inflating spectrum pricing, the Indian government could lose ground in its quest to bring  5G mobile networks to the masses.

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