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Spectrum Auction Modalities Likely in a Week

The government is likely to finalise most of the modalities in the week starting January 5 for conducting telecom spectrum auction for various bands, which is scheduled for February 23.
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New Delhi: The government is likely to finalise most of the modalities in the week starting January 5 for conducting telecom spectrum auction for various bands, which is scheduled for February 23.

Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission is likely to finalise 3G spectrum base price in its meeting on Wednesday, while the Cabinet may decide the reserve price of 800, 900 and 1800 MHz bands early in the week.

"Cabinet is likely to take up the spectrum pricing issue early this week," a source said.

Another source said the Telecom Commission is meeting on Wednesday to finalise the base price for 2100 Mhz used for 3G services.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) expects to issue auction details through a notice inviting application (NIA) after prices are approved by the Cabinet, the source added.

"DoT is also likely to issue details for the spectrum auction (NIA) by January 6 or early next week and this can only happen after the Cabinet approves the reserve price for all the three bands," another source said.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has already given recommendations on the base price and other modalities for the auction of the radio waves in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz and has also suggested that all the bands should be auctioned simultaneously.

TRAI recommended a base price of Rs 2,720 crore per megahertz pan-India for sale in 2100 MHz band - used for offering 3G services - which is about 19 per cent lower than what operators paid in 2010.

It had earlier recommended a price of Rs 2,138 crore per MHz for the 1,800 MHz band and Rs 3,004 crore per MHz for the premium 900 MHz band.

For the 800 MHz band - used by CDMA operators - the body had suggested a reserve price of Rs 3,104 crore per MHz.

The government expects to raise at least Rs 9,355 crore from auctioning three sets of available spectrum.

It also expects to raise additional Rs 5,000 crore from the auction of 3G spectrum in the 2100 Mhz band after it is vacated by the Defence Ministry.

The government has already finalised mjunction services, a Kolkata-based firm, for conducting spectrum auction.



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