The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has reportedly decided to put all unsold airwaves worth Rs 2.65 trillion on sale at the same base price as the ones kept in the auction in 2022, without any addition of new airwave bands. The decision was made after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) declined to provide a fresh reserve price for spectrum bands auctioned in July-August 2022.

The next spectrum auction is scheduled for January 2024. The previous auction witnessed the sale of the 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz, and 24.25-28.5 GHz bands at their base price. The 1800 MHz band was also sold at its base price across India, except for Uttar Pradesh.

Additionally, the DoT has intended to auction spectrum in the 37 GHz band along with the unsold airwaves in the upcoming auction. However, due to the unavailability of a reserve price for the new band, the DoT will now be forced to proceed with a limited sale. Nevertheless, the DoT has earmarked frequencies in the 37 GHz band, ranging from 37-37.5 GHz, 37.5-40 GHz, and 42.5-43.5 GHz, for auction.

Furthermore, the TRAI has recommended that the government conduct a fresh spectrum valuation exercise once every three years for existing bands. For any new spectrum bands to be auctioned for the first time, a reference should be sent to the regulator as and when the bands are proposed to be put on sale.