The department of telecom (DoT) may propose to a ministerial panel next week to either seek sectoral regulator TRAI's views on auction of telecom spectrum in the CDMA band or auction the radiowaves after GSM spectrum auction due this fiscal year.
"It has been discussed that for 800 Megahertz band (CDMA spectrum) there can be two scenarios. First, refer it to TRAI for making recommendations and second, hold auction of spectrum in 800 Mhz band in succession to the forthcoming auction of 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz band (both being used for GSM services)," an official source said.
The proposal will go to an empowered group of ministers (EGoM), headed by finance minister P Chidambaram, for final decision only after approval of top authorities at the telecom ministry. EGoM is likely to meet sometime next week.
On December 7, DoT has sought EGoM's decision on action to be taken in the matter of 800 Mhz spectrum but it was deferred by the panel.
Government failed to auction CDMA spectrum at 1.3 times high price to that of GSM spectrum in 1800 Mhz band in auction process that concluded in November. The pan-India price for 5 Mhz of spectrum in 1800 Mhz band was fixed at Rs. 14,000 crore.
Supreme Court in February cancelled a total of 122 licences in the 2G spectrum allocation case. It included CDMA licences of Sistema Shyam Teleservices in 21 telecom circles and Tata Teleservices' in three circles.
It was mandatory for these companies to win spectrum in the auction to continue operations in the circles where validity of their licences will end on January 18, 2013; but due to high spectrum price the two companies did not bid for auction.