New Delhi: An expert committee, set up by the department of telecommunications (DoT), to look into the Trai proposals on spectrum, including 5G, and auction timings will submit its report on September 10.
After receiving the report, DoT will take a call if more discussions with the regulator on key issues, including revision of prices of 5G radio waves, would be required.
The committee, comprising members from our finance, licencing and wireless spectrum wings, was to suggest the quantum, timing and roadmap for of spectrum sale.
Trai, last month recommended reserve price for the next round of spectrum auctions, fixed a reserve price for 5G band at Rs 492 crore per mhz. It would have cost an operator Rs 9,840 crore as not less than 20 mhz could be bought for pan-India rollout.
The industry termed it steep considering that in South Korean auctions in July the price per mhz was just Rs 130 crore.
“We find that it would be difficult as the quantum of spectrum required for 5G would be 100 mhzs. When you talk about 100 times the Rs 492 crore per mhz, the numbers become staggering. Even if the industry would have been in a better financial position that would be an extremely high number,” said COAI director general Rajan Mathews.
Our prices are 30-40 per cent higher than the globally auctioned or indicated prices for 5G spectrum, he added. Trai had to reduce the price of 700 mhz band in its latest recommendations by 43 per cent from Rs 11,484 crore per mhz.
Since these spectrum licences are for 20 years , one needs to really have a fairly good understanding of the revenue streams that are attached, otherwise how can you put for a reasonable bid for these spectrums,” he said.
On the timing of auction, he said, “we are saying wait for some time before we are able to understand underlying factors like the cost of a 5G handset. In case of 4G, we learnt it in a hard way. Also, the 3G PP standards and operational parametres of 5G won’t be ready till 2019.
The equipment manufacturers will wait for those standards to be finalized. The new operating standards and parametres for operationalising 5G won’t be done till 2020.