The country's biggest ever spectrum auction is set to begin on September 29, the Centre announced on Monday. The government also said it has decided to make spectrum allocations to the winning bidders within 30 calendar days, instead of four to five months, as was the norm earlier. On Monday, the government put out the Notice Inviting Applications for the auction on the Department of Telecommunication's official website.

According to Department of Telecommunications Secretary JS Deepak, the Centre plans to expedite the process to facilitate the ease of doing business. "The auctions are on track and will be held in September. The pre-bid conference, proposed to be held on August 13, wherein various elements of the NIA will be discussed and the inter-ministerial committee to supervise the auction will interact with bidders, seek their comments and provide clarifications," he said.

The auction will make 2354.55 MHz available and is is expected to fetch Rs 5.56 lakh crore, including the additional Rs 27,000 crore of harmonised spectrum. The Department of Communication will conduct a single auction in simultaneous multiple-round ascending format for seven bands – 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz.

Cellular Operators Association of India's director general, Rajan Mathews, said telcos will purchase airwaves worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore in the upcoming auctions, according to Economic Times. "There will be a reasonable response to 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz, with telcos picking up bandwidth to fill gaps in their existing coverage," he said.