DoT defers telecom spectrum auction for second time to June 25

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has deferred the spectrum auction for the second time to June 25 from June 6, earlier.

The auction was originally scheduled to be held on May 20, which was postponed to June 6.

The department in an amendment to the notice inviting applications (NIA) said mock auctions are scheduled for June 13 and 14. While, the DoT did not specify any reason, it is expected that the decision was taken because the new government in the Centre would take some more time to go ahead with the actions.

On February 8, the Cabinet approved the auction of 10,523.15 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum across bands at a reserve price of Rs 96,317 crore.

Earlier, in May, the three major telecom service providers (TSPs) — Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone-Idea — were selected as pre-qualified bidders for the auction. Airtel has deposited ₹1,050 crore, Reliance Jio ₹3,000 crore, and Vodafone Idea ₹300 crore as earnest money, respectively.

All unsold spectrum from the last sale will be up for bidding again. Airwaves in the 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands, covering a large chunk of voice and data spectrum, are up for sale.

The DoT expects a haul of at least ₹40,000 crore from the auction, estimated through earnest money (₹4,350 crore) that the TSPs had deposited in May.

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