The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has assigned frequencies to the successful bidders of the spectrum auction which was held last month.
A total quantity of 855.60 MHz of spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, and 2300 MHz bands was acquired by Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the Spectrum Auction 2021, conducted on 1 and 2 March earlier this year.
The DoT on Friday (16 April) issued frequency assignment letters to successful bidders.
“The frequency assignment was accompanied by a frequency harmonization exercise, whereby spectrum blocks assigned to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the current spectrum auction have been made contiguous with the spectrum blocks already held by them, wherever possible, in various bands in different Licensed Service Areas (LSAs),” the Ministry of Communications said on Friday.
The harmonization of spectrum was accomplished in 19 LSAs in 800 MHz band, 8 LSAs in 900 MHz band, 21 LSAs in 1800 MHz band, 3 LSAs in 2100 MHz band, and 16 LSAs in 2300 MHz band. The harmonization exercise facilitates more efficient utilization of spectrum held by TSPs, leading to improved quality of service for consumers, the ministry said.
The ministry further said that as a part of the frequency assignment, the government has also accepted the request of two TSPs – Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio – for assignment of immediately available unsold spectrum blocks in place of spectrum blocks in the same band and LSA assigned to them from later dates.
An amount of Rs. 2306.97 crore (Rs 157.38 crore from Bharti Airtel and Rs 2149.59 crore from Reliance Jio) has been received immediately by the government, rather than in August/September 2021, the ministry said.
The total amount payable by the successful bidders for the total quantity of spectrum acquired is Rs 77820.81 crore. Of this, an amount of Rs 21918.47 crore was received as upfront payment from the TSPs on 18th March 2021, as per terms and conditions of the Notice Inviting Applications, it added.