The Digital Communications Commission (DCC) has given its approval to the auctioning of spectrum worth Rs 5.22 trillion.  The spectrum auction plan entails 8300 MHz of airwaves spread across 22 telecom circles and the sale is likely to take place in March-April 2020.

Earlier, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had given recommendation for radiowaves valued at Rs 4.9 trillion. However, the Department of Telecommunications has also included additional spectrum for the auction which will be free from expiration of licences of Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel in 8 circles and Vodafone and Idea Cellular in 4 circles each.

As per the terms of the plan, successful bidders will have to pay 25 per cent of the amount upfront for sub 1 GHz, and 50 per cent upfront for higher frequency bands. Instalments will be spread over a period of 16 years. Further, there will be a two-year moratorium for payment after the upfront amount is paid. This implies that instalments will have to be paid from third year onwards, in 16 annual instalments.

Earlier, on August 1, 2018, TRAI had recommended auction of spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3400 MHz, 3400-3600MHz bands.