The government on Wednesday cleared a proposal to sell spectrum in seven frequencies at an estimated cost of Rs. 5.6 lakh crore, reported Press Trust of India. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the auctioning as the largest ever in the history of the country, which is also the world's second largest telecommunication market.
Seven bands of airwaves, adding up to more than 2300 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum, will be open for auctioning to all telecom operators. It includes the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz and 2,500 MHz frequencies, noted the PTI report.
Though no timeline for the sale was set by the government, the news agency noted that the sale would fetch Rs. 64,000 crore in this financial year in instalments, while another Rs. 98,995 crore is expected to flow in from other taxes and service charges within the telecom sector.
The minister added that a decision by Telecom Commission and the telecom regulator (TRAI) to charge 3 percent as spectrum usage charge (SUC) from the annual revenue of operators would be referred back to TRAI.
Meanwhile, the government has decided to reduce the lock-in period in trade in spectrum from the existing 3 years to 1 year, which is expected to push for consolidation in the industry.
In the previous spectrum sale in March 2015, the government earned Rs. 1.1 lakh crore.