India ‘to spend $15bn on new spectrum’, says report

05 July 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

India’s telecoms industry is expected to spend one trillion rupees ($15 billion) on spectrum and significantly more on network expansion, according to Indian research.

Mumbai-based Crisil Research says that three operators – Airtel, Idea and Vodafone – will spend $18 billion between them over the next two years in spectrum and network expansion.

India has several spectrum auctions in the near future, starting with one in the 2,300MHz band. There is also a 700MHz auction planned, and the government will release 200MHz of spectrum in the 1,800MHz band – a band that is widely used around the world for LTE services.

Crisil Research said it expects 50-60% of spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band to be sold, according to the Business Standard newspaper. “The harmonisation in the 1,800MHz band will lead to the availability of 200MHz of contiguous spectrum across India.”

Operators will use spectrum in this band to consolidate their positions in licence regions – or circles, in Indian terminology – where they have a large market share, said Crisil Research.