New Delhi, May 17

The Digital Communications Commission (DCC) on Tuesday has approved the 5G spectrum auctions as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI’s) recommendations (on base reserve prices), and may likely go to the Cabinet next week for approval.

Sources closed to the meeting told BusinessLine that the DCC has taken the same recommendations by TRAI, which will now become ‘final through the competent authority’.

“We will move the note to the Cabinet may take a week’s time for them to go through it. The moment Cabinet clears, the time starts ticking for us (for the auctions),” the source requesting anonymity said.

The DCC has also decided to not auction spectrum frequency range 27.5-28.5 gigahertz and leave it for satellite services, he said. The TRAI had recommended a base price for this frequency range and suggested that it can be used for both mobiles as well as satellite services.

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The regulator in its reply to the Department of Telecommunications last week left it to the government to decide if they want to auction 27.5-28.5 GHz or not.

Private wireless

Meanwhile, the DCC has also approved TRAI’s recommendation to allow setting up of private wireless or the 5G network for captive use.

With many unsold spectrum in the last two auctions, TRAI in April had recommended to the government for selling airwaves in all existing bands of 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz and new slots of 600 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz and 24.25-28.5 GHz.

It had also suggested a lower reserve price for all bands, compared to last recommended prices in 2018.

It recommended auction plan of over ₹7.5-lakh crore for over one-lakh MHz spectrum in case government allocates it for 30 years. In case of 20 years, the total value of the proposed spectrum auction will stand at around ₹5.07-lakh crore at the reserve price, according to the back-of-the-envelop calculation.

The auctions are scheduled to start from the end of next month.