With only 10Mhz of airwaves available in the two circles, the fight for spectrum is going to be tough in the two metros — Delhi and Mumbai. This is just enough for two new players. In most circles, 13.8 Mhz of spectrum is available for the forthcoming auction.
Delhi is likely to witness a tougher fight since Tata Teleservices, which has spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band elsewhere in India, does not own spectrum in Delhi.According to the information memorandum released by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), on Monday, new service providers will have to bid for a minimum of 5 MHz of spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band in the upcoming spectrum auction. This means that the two new operators will get spectrum in the two metros. Existing operators who hold spectrum would not be allowed to bid for additional spectrum.
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has shown interest in bidding for spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band for providing pan-India services. Besides, one foreign player has shown interest in providing services.
In many countries the 1,800 Mhz band is used for providing 4G services.
“We expect there will be at least three players vying for spectrum in the two circles,” said a DoT official.
Other circles for which only 10 Mhz of spectrum is up for sale include Gujarat, Punjab, UP (East), Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh.
It is not yet clear, how many companies will bid for spectrum in 800 Mhz band. It is used mainly for providing CDMA services, which is being phased out all over the world.
The DoT has fixed a base price of Rs. 14,000 crore for 5 Mhz of pan-India spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band and Rs. 14,000 crore for 3.8 MHz in the 800 MHz band.