Telecom Commission to Discuss Spectrum Auction on November 7, 2014

Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission is scheduled to meet on November 7 to discuss next round of spectrum auction along with broadband project and TRAI's recommendation on indoor wireless telephony.

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"TC is proposed to meet on November 7 to mainly discuss spectrum auction related issues, NOFN and TRAI's recommendation on cordless communications system," an official source told PTI.

Telecom Commission to Discuss Spectrum Auction on November 7, 2014

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, on October 15, gave its recommendation on spectrum auction for premium 900 Mhz band and 1800 Mhz band that are presently being used for 2G GSM mobile services by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications.

Government has proposed to put for auction about 184 Mhz of spectrum in 900 Mhz band which is held by these companies through their various licences expiring in 2015-16. The four telecom operators will have to buy spectrum afresh to continue their services.

In 1800 Mhz, government has proposed to auction 104 Mhz of spectrum which included spectrum held by licences that are expiring in 2015-16 and unsold airwaves in February auction.

The regulator has already given its view on pricing of 800 Mhz band which is used for CDMA based mobile telephony.
In the coming days, telecom operators will be able to deploy 4G technology in all these spectrum band.

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TRAI has recommended about 10 per cent higher base price for spectrum in 1800 Mhz band at Rs 2,138 crore for 18 out of 22 service areas.

It also suggested a price of Rs 3,004 crore per Mhz for the premium 900 Mhz band, in which mobile signal covered about twice more area than 1800 Mhz band and hence telecom operators will need to deploy less number of mobile towers for transmitting signals and thus save cost.

For CDMA spectrum, TRAI recommended reserve price of Rs 2,685 crore per megahertz, which is around 50 per cent higher than the pan-India base price fixed for its last auction held in March 2013.

DoT has proposed to auction about 57 Mhz of CDMA spectrum while TRAI has suggested that about 169 Mhz can be made available for the auction after taking back spectrum from public sector units BSNL and MTNL.

Government expects to raise a minimum of Rs 9,000 crore from auction of three sets of spectrum. An inter-ministerial panel of spectrum auction has suggested conducting auction in February but Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and RCom have written seeking deferring of auction till the time more spectrum, especially that of BSNL and MTNL, is made available.

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