India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) plans to hold a big spectrum auction in early 2016 supporting services for 2G, 3G and 4G networks, including first-ever 700 MHz frequencies supporting may also be on offer for the first time ever.

The auction also will include spectrum at 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz.

Under the new spectrum rules, all the bands can be used to offer any telecom services using any technology. That is a change.

Historically, each band was licensed for a particular technology approach.

So 800 MHz and 1800 MHz can be also used for 4G, while 900 MHz can also be used to offer 3G, for example.

Some of the spectrum that will be auctioned presently is licensed for active mobile operators, but additional new spectrum also will be auctioned.

That is likely to include 15 MHz of previously-unsold capacity in the 2100 MHz band, 5.4 MHz in the 1800 MHz band, 9.8 MHz in the 900 MHz band and 22.5 MHz of bandwidth in the 800 MHz band.

In 2100 MHz, 15 MHz will be available. About 30 MHz will be available in the 700 MHz band.

The relatively small amount of additional new spectrum means modest but important increases in ability to serve additional customers or provide higher speeds.