R K Upadhyay, chairman and managing director of BSNL has announced that the company will not be a part of the 2G auction that is scheduled to begin on March 11.
The government is projected to raise Rs. 45,000 crore from round 2 of the spectrum auction. The absence of BSNL will be prominent since most of the existing telecom operators as well as new entrants in the industry will be taking part in the spectrum sale so as to obtain additional spectrum for broadening their offerings.
The EGoM (Empowered group of Ministers) has recommended the reduction of minimum price of spectrum sold. The spectrum utilized by CDMA operators is recommended to be decreased upto 50 %. The cabinet will be taking a final call on this recommendation.
Back in December 13, 2012, the government had taken the decision to give a 30 % cut in base or reserve price of 2G (second generation) spectrum belonging to 1800MHz band. This cut in prices is applicable to only the spectrum that was not auctioned off in the first round of 2G spectrum sale held in November 2012. This cut was decided because of the less-than-satisfactory reaction garnered by the first round. The reserve prices for 900 MHz and 800 MHz bands have not yet been made public.
800 MHz band was included in the first auction. However, the upcoming auction will see the inclusion of 900 MHz band as well. Supreme Court directed the government on Monday to submit the reserve price decided for the spectrum auction scheduled for March in a sealed cover with the hearing to be held on February 4.