New Delhi: The government will sell 15MHz of 1800MHz spectrum in Delhi and Mumbai and 10MHz in Karnataka and Rajasthan, but will not auction unsold spectrum in any other circle as price discovery has been concluded in the November auction, according to the preliminary guidelines for the auction issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
“Spectrum in 1800MHz, 900MHz, and 800MHz bands shall be allocated for telecom services through auction,” the guidelines released on Tuesday said.
The block size for the auction will be 1.25MHz for all the bands. This means there will be 12 blocks in Delhi and Mumbai and eight blocks in Rajasthan and Karnataka for 1800Mhz band spectrum.
Spectrum in the 900MHz band will only be auctioned in Delhi (15MHz), Mumbai (15MHz) and Kolkata (12.5MHz). This is because older operators will have to release spectrum that they hold, once the validity expires towards the end of 2014. The auction for 800MHz band spectrum, commonly referred to as CDMA spectrum, will be held for 21 circles, leaving out Rajasthan where the airwaves are not available. As much as 3.75MHz (three slots) of 800MHz spectrum is available in these circles except in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab where there are only two slots (2.5MHz), the guidelines said. The government is also offering one block of top-up 800MHz spectrum wherever available in case a successful bidder requires 5MHz to offer services. DoT has capped the amount of spectrum held by an operator at 25% of the total spectrum available in the circle.
The government will raise at least Rs.4,500 crore if it sells all the spectrum in the auction that starts on 11 March. Spectrum auction in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands will be completed simultaneously across all circles while for the 800MHz band, the auction will be conducted separately for each circle.