Telecom Department Invites Bids From Agencies To Hold Spectrum Auction
A telecommunications tower. (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Telecom Department Invites Bids From Agencies To Hold Spectrum Auction

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The Department of Telecommunications has invited bids from agencies to conduct e-auction of 8,526 megahertz of spectrum worth Rs 4.98 lakh crore.

Interested companies can submit their bids by Jan. 13, for which financial bids will be opened on Jan. 24, according to a request for proposal floated by the DoT on Thursday.

"Department of Telecommunications invites bidders to submit e-bids for selection of agency to conduct the e-auction of spectrum. The tenure of the contract would be three+one years for the auctioneer with a normal tenure of three years and a provision of extension for one year by mutual consent, if required," the RFP said.

According to official sources, the agency selected will need at least one month to understand and streamline the bidding process and then the auction can be held around June-July 2020.

Also read: Government Creating Framework For Deployment Of Secure 5G Services, Ravi Shankar Prasad

The government had plans to hold spectrum auction in the current financial year but the Supreme Court's order on adjusted gross revenue delayed the process.

The upcoming spectrum will also include some airwaves that are considered suitable for 5G services.

According to official data, 275 megahertz of radio waves frequency between 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,425-3,600 Mhz band is available for 5G auction in each of the telecom circle.

In the DoT's view, the current available spectrum is enough to start the 5G services.

According to International Telecommunication Union, a 5G application in general should be able to transmit data with a speed of 10 gigabit per second and in some cases, 20 gigabit per second.

Industry experts have said the lower data speed case requires around 320 Mhz of spectrum, while higher data speed needs around 670 Mhz.

The DoT has set a target to roll out 5G in 2020. Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson in its global study published early this week said that 5G connections are likely to be available in India from 2022.

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