The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will finalise an agency for the auction of 4G spectrum this week, with the financial bids slated to open on Monday.

A finalisation of the auctioneer will take place on May 22. This would be from the four companies that have been found to be technically-qualified to place the bids, a source close to the development told BusinessLine .

The four companies shortlisted are: C1 India Pvt Ltd (Haryana), mjunction services Ltd (Kolkata), MSTC Ltd (Kolkata), and e-Procurement Technologies Ltd (Ahmedabad).

The Wireless Planning Finance Wing of the DoT had found the four firms technically sound to conduct the e-bids.

5G spectrum auction

The DoT plansto conduct 4G spectrum auctions by August-September this year, followed by 5G, which is expected to take place early next year.

A number of operators in the country, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, are expected to bid for the spectrum.

Further, with a number of circles coming up for renewal in 2021, private operators would be bidding for 4G spectrum.

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) also needs 4G spectrum to provide high-speed data services, which is now being serviced through 3G spectrum and high-end telecom infrastructure.

The DoT is in the process of getting a Cabinet approval for the proposed auction, excluding 3,300-3,600 Mhz band, which is earmarked for 5G services. The Telecom Ministry plans to auction 8,000 Mhz of spectrum, across 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz, 2300 Mhz and 2500 Mhz bands.

The DoT expects to raise about ₹3-lakh crore ($3.9 billion) from the auction. The Defence Ministry had earlier sought 100 Mhz of spectrum in 5G radio waves.

However, such a keen interest is unlikely for 5G spectrum due to the high costs as companies would have exhausted resources by bidding for the 4G spectrum. Telecom companies had earlier stated that the base price of ₹492 crore per MHz fixed for 5G spectrum was on the higher side and that it would further bleed them.