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The Department of Telecommunication have decided to go with the second round of 2G auction which is likely to start on March 11, 2013 at a lower base price.
The sources say that a strict timeline is drawn and that the procedures are expected to be completed within this financial year. This move is following the decision of the Empowered Group of Ministers on December 7th, 2012. The exact timeline of the second round of auction will be decided in a meeting of EGoM scheduled on January 7th, 2013.
Reports from the sources said that the auction is likely to begin on March 11th for unsold 2G spectrum air waves in 900 MHz and 1800 MHz band which are held by the telecom companies whose licenses are due for renewal in 2014.
The sources also said that the number of blocks or quantum of spectrum may be increased this time by the Government. Last time, the Government sold 8 blocks of 1.25 MHz each for 693.06 crore in Delhi and 678.45 crore in Mumbai.
The guidelines for the auction will be released on January 7th after the meeting of EGoM which could come out with a Notice Inviting Tender.
The final document of the auction legally relating the Government and the bidders may come out on January 29th, if the EGoMs decide to continue with the same private agency. Times Internet with e-procurement technologies handled the last auction.
The interested companies should submit their applications before February 22nd. The Government is also planning an auction for unsold 1800MHz spectrum in Karnataka, Delhi, Mumbai and Rajasthan. The DoT also has a thought to re-auction the 1800MHz band in Kolkata.
The coverage aspect is what matters the most when it comes to metros and not the propagation characteristics of the spectrum. The 1800 MHz spectrum may be the first choice of the bidders as its price is only half that of the 900MHz band. There are also uncertainties over the operations of the telecom operations whose licenses were cancelled.
The apex court had earlier cancelled the licenses of Uninor, Videocon, CDMA licenses of Tata Teleservices and Sistema Shyam Teleservices.