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India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has requested the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) set a reserve price for various bands to be sold in the upcoming 5G spectrum auction.

However, it appears that the 6 GHz band is not included in this request. Last year's spectrum sale had some unsold bands, including the 600 MHz and 2300 MHz bands, which will be put up for sale again. Additionally, spectrum in or above the 37 GHz band will also be available. Therefore, the spectrum on offer will range from 600 MHz to at least 37 GHz.

As expected by many commentators, the lack of a decision regarding the allocation of the 6 GHz band means that it will not be part of the planned sale. This issue has sparked a dispute between operators who want auctions for the 6 GHz band and Wi-Fi proponents who seek access to as much of the band as possible.

However, the DoT has not yet made a final decision on this matter. TRAI will release a consultation paper on the auction in the coming weeks. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that the bidding process will be highly competitive.

Vodafone Idea (Vi) is facing financial difficulties and is lagging behind its competitors, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, in terms of 5G rollout. However, Bharti Airtel and Vi have permits expiring in 2024 in several areas.

In the previous auction, which concluded on August 1, 2022, 71% of the available spectrum was sold.

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