New Delhi: Sectoral regulator TRAI Monday reiterated that the entire spectrum available in 700 Mhz band should be auctioned in the upcoming sale as non-utilisation would result into irreversible loss to the government.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also stood by its proposal regarding pricing of the band.
The regulator had earlier recommended a record high base price of Rs 11,485 crore per megahertz for the 700 Mhz band, which would be auctioned for the first time.
Department of Telecom (DoT) had asked TRAI to reconsider whether all available spectrum in the 700 MHz band should be put up for auction or split in two phases.
DoT had said the quantity of spectrum in the upcoming sale is much higher and also operators have acquired airwaves in 2014 and 2015 and are in the process of rolling out networks.
The authority, however, said holding back some of the spectrum from this auction and selling it after a gap would lead to non-utilisation of this scarce natural resource for that period and it would turn into irreversible loss.
TRAI said it is of the opinion that the entire spectrum in the 700 MHz band is required to be made available for commercial use without delay and reiterated its earlier recommendation that entire available spectrum (2x35MHz) in the band should be put up in the upcoming auction.
TRAI also reiterated its proposal regarding the pricing of 700 MHz band, for which it had proposed a base price that is four times of 1800 MHz band.
"As per international trends, the 700 MHz band will be primarily used for LTE technology and presently 1800 MHz is the most deployed band for LTE technology. Therefore, the authority has decided to benchmark the reserve price of 700 MHz with reference to 1800 MHz band and not 800/900 MHz band," TRAI said.
The regulator said as it has not benchmarked reserve price of 700 MHz band with reference to either 800 or 900 MHz, therefore the contention of DoT that in some service areas, the recommended reserve price is lower than the reserve price of either 800 or 900 MHz band is not relevant.