New Delhi: The government has asked telcos and other firms using higher frequency band of 3300-3400 Mhz, which has potential to be used for 5G services, to vacate the spectrum held by them within six months.
"...all the existing licensees of the spectrum in 3300-3400 Mhz band are required to vacate the spectrum held by them within six months' time from the date of issue of this notice," the Department of Telecom said in a notice.
The notice was issued to several companies, including Tata Communications, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Dishnet Wireless (Aircel) and ONGC, on March 27, 2018.
"Existing licencees in the 3300-3400 Mhz band should note that no new assignment will be made in this band as well as the existing licences will not be renewed further i.e., beyond 6 months' time from the date of issue of this notice," the notice said.
The government has given option to companies to migrate their services to other bands like 2.7-2.9 Ghz, 5 Ghz band etc.
"The existing wireless operating licencee of the frequency band 3300-3400 Mhz may note that this band is identified for implementation of International Mobile Telecommunuications," the notice said.
The notice said the government has sought recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the reserve price for auction of right to use spectrum and also on other associated conditions of the various frequency bands including the 3,300-3,400 Mhz band.
When contacted, Bharti Airtel spokesperson said, "We have already surrendered spectrum in the 3,300-3,400 Mhz band."
Email query sent to other firms didn't elicit any immediate response. The government is planning to hold the largest ever spectrum auction of 3,000 Mhz of radiowaves in the upcoming sale.
The government has sought recommendations from the TRAI on the applicable reserve price and related issues for auction of right to use of spectrum in the frequency bands 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz. Recommendations from the regulator TRAI are awaited.
In the previous auction in 2016, the government had put a total of 2,354.55 megahertz of mobile airwaves for sale in all bands of 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz, cumulatively valued at around Rs 5.63 lakh crore at base price.