The ITU-APT Foundation of India has called upon the finance minister to allow auction of 5G spectrum in mid band and mm wave bands without any reserve price so that the goal of “Atamnirbhar Bharat” could be achieved. The 5G auctions have been bogged down due to high reserve prices. Further, the real market price cannot be determined and the whole mobile industry has been suffering.

Moreover, Bharat Bhatia, president, ITU-APT Foundation of India, also called upon the government to work on four major initiatives in order to realise the prime minister’s dream of an Atamnirbhar India. These are:

  • Low-cost 5G spectrum for operators in 3.6GHz and 26GHz through immediate spectrum auctions without any reserve price.
  • Delicense E and V bands for backhaul, as well as last mile high-speed internet access.
  • Delicense additional 1200MHz for Wi-Fi in 6GHz, with technical conditions to protect satellite uplinks, similar to what USA has done.
  • Small area and captive telecom licensing to be delicensed to support industrial, captive and campus based telecom networks.


Further, Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), supported the proposal for low cost spectrum and said that the spectrum is the building block of our industry and we need it at low prices.

Meanwhile, R S Sharma, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), said that TRAI has endorsed many of these telecom reforms and have recommended these to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). However, 5G spectrum auctions without any reserve price may be difficult to be accepted.