India pushed back a second 5G spectrum auction to late June, giving no reason for the delay in the sale of eight spectrum bands, which was originally planned for March.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) amended the auction rules in an official notification, The Economic Times (ET) reported. The country’s major mobile operators will bid for airwaves in the 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz, 2500MHz, 3.3GHz and 26GHz bands.

A mock auction, with the DoT releasing a full catalogue for the actual sale, will take place on 13 and 14 June.

The sale has been delayed multiple times, with the DoT last month shifting the date from May to early June due to the national election.

In January, the DoT lowered its revenue target for a planned spectrum auction, forecasting the sale to generate INR20 billion ($239.8 million) to INR30 billion, down from a previous estimate of as much as INR90 billion.

Given operators’ heavy debt levels and high reserve prices, analysts expect limited interest.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea need to renew 900MHz and 1800MHz licences is some regions, while Reliance Jio has no renewals this year, but may seek new spectrum in some regions, ET previously reported.

The government raised a record INR1.5 trillion in a 5G spectrum auction in 2022.