Spectrum auction postponed by 2 weeks; to start on June 6 now

New Delhi, Apr 3 (FN Agency) In view of the Lok Sabha election schedule, the Department of Telecom has postponed the auction of spectrum by two weeks and it will start now on June 6 this year 2 days after the election results are declared. The DoT has also released the “Queries & Responses” to the NIA dated March 8, 2024. The Government through the Department of Telecommunications proposes to assign the right to use certain specified radio spectrum frequencies in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz Bands by means of auction in various Licensed Service areas, according to the Notice Inviting Application (NIA). The much awaited spectrum auction will now begin in June this year and the government may fetch minimum over Rs 96,300 crore even if spectrum is sold at base price.

According to the revised time table the Auction will start from June 6, 2024, the DoT said in the amended time-table. All other clauses remain same as per the NIA. State owned e-auctioneer MSTC Limited (referred to as the “Auctioneer”) is advising the Government on this Auction. Administration of the e-auction shall also be the responsibility of MSTC Limited. No Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) is payable on spectrum acquired through this auction and the spectrum will for a period of 20 years from the date of its allocation. All spectrum unsold in previous auctions and spectrum available due to closure of some operations will be put to auction. A single auction process will be carried out for assigning Spectrum blocks in various bands viz. 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz Bands. Successful Bidders shall deposit the Successful Bid Amount i.e., full amount or part upfront payment amount or first instalment in case of deferred payment option within ten (10) calendar days from the issuance of Demand Notice by DoT, failing which the EMD shall stand forfeited. Companies, both existing telecom operators or new entrants, seeking to buy spectrum in this round of auction can send in their application till April 22 this year. The mock auction will be conducted on June 3.