Why 1800 MHz was the most sought-after band

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 07, 2016


Tech developments, harmonisation make this band more efficient

The 1800 MHz band has attracted the highest bids in the recently concluded auction, with the Centre receiving nearly 28 per cent of the total amount from this frequency band.

This is significant considering that in the previous auction rounds, operators did not bid aggressively for this band.

There are primarily two reasons why operators are considering 1800 MHz more valuable than earlier. Technological developments have enhanced this band from 2G spectrum to a 4G band. Operators such as Telenor and Reliance Communications have proven that 1800 MH can be used to deliver high-speed broadband services.

Ready to shell out

Since 4G is a higher revenue generating service compared to 2G, operators are willing to put up a premium. Reliance Jio, for example, has bought spectrum in this band for ₹2,154 crore, while Airtel has invested over ₹3,000 crore to buy spectrum in this band.

The other reason is that the Department of Telecom undertook a harmonisation exercise that makes 1800 MHz more efficient. Harmonisation refers to a process that involves restructuring the allocation in a way that operators get contiguous access to airwaves. This helps them use it more efficiently as they can plan network for one chunk of spectrum instead of small bits here and there. “We must praise the government for harmonising spectrum in the 1800 MHz band, which will greatly help operators in efficiently utilising spectrum. The government’s support in making available large chunks of spectrum to address the rising demand in data is well in line with the needs of the sector and the overarching objectives of Digital India,” said Prashant Singhal, Global telecom leader, EY.

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Published on October 07, 2016
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