The government has 7446MHz of spectrum available for telecom services, of which over 80 percent is in two new spectrum bands identified for mobile telephony, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha informed the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
As much as 770 megahertz (MHz) spectrum is available in the premium 700MHz band, 58.75MHz in 800MHz band, 15.6MHz in 900MHz band, 46.8MHz in 1800MHz band and 275MHz in 100MHz band, according to the data shared by Sinha.
The government has identified two spectrum bands, 3300-3400MHz and 3400-3600MHz, for telecom services and 6050MHz of spectrum is available in 3300-3400MHz bands only.
However, the DoT is mulling to auction 100MHz in the 3300-3400MHz band and 175MHz in 3425-3600MHz spectrum band.
"The government has already sought recommendations from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the applicable Reserve Price and related issues for auction of right to use
of spectrum above 3000MHz (3300-3400MHz and 3400-3600MHz) besides frequency bands 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2500MHz," Sinha said.
Responding to a query on use of radiowaves for 5G services, Sinha said the standardisation for 5G technology is expected to be completed around 2020 after which the frequency bands, already auctioned, can be utilised for its deployment.
The DoT had put 2354.55MHz of spectrum for auction in 2016 across seven bands at a cumulative base price of Rs. 5.6 lakh crores. Out of this, bids worth Rs. 65,789 crores were received for 964.8MHz spectrum.
The spectrum in 700MHz was put for auction in 2016 but it could not find any taker at price of over Rs. 11,000 crores per MHz fixed by the government. It is considered to be most suitable spectrum for 4G services.
The spectrum in 800MHz and 1800MHz were earlier used for 2G services but now telecom operators are providing 4G services using these frequencies. Radiowaves in 900 and 2100MHz band are being used for 2G and 3G services but gradually telecom operators are shifting their services to 4G in these bands.