The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has assigned spectrum frequencies to successful bidders of the recently concluded auction.
The assignment was accompanied by a frequency harmonisation exercise, whereby spectrum blocks assigned to telecom operators in the current 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 harmonisation 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 harmonisation exercise facilitates more efficient utilisation of spectrum held by TSPs, leading to improved quality of service for consumers.
As a part of the frequency assignment, the DoT has also accepted request of Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, 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. Both the companies have paid Rs 2,306.97 crore (Rs 157.38 crore from Bharti and Rs 2,149.59 crore from Jio) to DoT immediately, rather than in August/ September, 2021.
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 three telcos in the auction, which lasted for two days on March 1 and 2. The total amount payable by the successful bidders for the total quantity of spectrum acquired is Rs 77,820.81 crore. Of this, an amount of Rs 21,918.47 crore was received as upfront payment from the telcos on March 18, 2021, as per terms and conditions of the notice inviting applications.