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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 2753
ANSWERED ON:  10.07.2019
Concerns on 5G Spectrum Auction
Sukanta Majumdar
Raja Amareshwara Naik
Raghu Ramakrishna Raju Kanumuru
P.R. Natarajan
Vinod Kumar Sonkar
Will the Minister of



COMMUNICATIONS be pleased to state:-


(a) whether the Government is planning to conduct spectrum auction, including for 5G services in the current financial year and if so, the details thereof including the details regarding quantum of spectrum available and the quantum of spectrum to be auctioned along with the reserve price decided by the Government for the same;

(b) whether the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have raised any concerns on the reportedly high reserve price of the 5G spectrum and requested the Government to reduce the same and postpone the said auction to the next year and if so, the details thereof and the reaction of the Government thereto;

(c) whether the trials for 5G services have started in few cities of the country and if so, the details thereof;

(d) whether the Government proposes to use 5G technology for deprived sections, social causes, education and health and for bringing technology to rural people and if so, the details thereof along with the steps taken by the Government in this regard;

(e) the steps taken by the Government to conduct fair and transparent auction of spectrum; and

(f) whether the Government is considering the request of BSNL for concession in payment for 5G licence and if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor?


ANSWER
MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS, LAW & JUSTICE AND
ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD)

(a) The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had provided its recommendations for the auction of spectrum in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz bands on 01.08.2018 for providing Access services using any technology including 5G. The recommendations were examined by an Expert Committee and subsequently by a Standing Committee in the department. The recommendations of the Standing Committee were considered by the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) and based on the decision of the DCC a back reference to TRAI on some of the recommendations was sent. Based on the reply from TRAI on the back reference, a final decision will be taken by the Government for the auction of spectrum.

(b) Broadband India Forum, has forwarded a letter to TRAI for the review of the TRAI recommendations dated 01.08.2018, a copy of which was also endorsed to this Department. However the comments of TRAI on the same has not been received in the Department.

(c) The Department of Telecommunications has invited major global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for 5G technology trials in India along with Indian Telecom Service Providers, start-ups, local vendors and academia. Technology trials are expected to start soon.

(d) 5G is the next generation of cellular communications technology. The cellular communications technologies like 3G, 4G etc are used across various sectors, viz. Education, Healthcare, Agriculture, Public safety, Banking & finance, Automobile industry, Smart cities etc. Similarly, 5G technology may be used for various sectors including health and education.

(e) The steps taken by the Government for fair and transparent auction of spectrum are as follows:

i. The details of auction are transparently placed in public domain through a ‘Notice Inviting Application’ (NIA) which includes inter alia, the rules of auction process, timelines, details of spectrum being auctioned, eligibility criteria, procedure for awarding spectrum.
ii. The process is open to all potential bidders on a non-discriminatory basis.
iii. The process allows for queries to be raised by potential bidders and such concerns are addressed through a ‘Queries and Responses’ document which is also placed on DoT’s website.
iv. The auctioneer is selected through a transparent Request for Proposal (RFP) process.
v. The auction is conducted online through an Electronic Auction System (EAS) for which prior security audit by Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) is mandatory.
vi. The EAS has to be compliant with Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW).
vii. Back up of all the auction data including bids received in each round is done in real time and is available for subsequent analysis and audit.
viii. Prior to the start of the auction, the Government makes public the list of pre-qualified bidders as well as the information about their ownership structures.
ix. At the end of each day of the auction, details of the clock rounds completed, the aggregate demand and the provisional bidding price are uploaded on Department of Telecom website.

(f) No such request was received from BSNL in this regard.

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