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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

TRAI to start consultation process for spectrum price soon

PTI  New Delhi, July 11, 2013
First Published: 17:25 IST(11/7/2013) | Last Updated: 17:26 IST(11/7/2013)

Telecom regulator TRAI has received reference from the DoT seeking recommendation on spectrum price for third round of auctions and will start consultation process shortly, a senior official said on Thursday.

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"We have received from reference from DoT. We will start consultation process very soon," telecom regulatory authority of India's secretary Rajeev Agrawal said in New Delhi on the sidelines of an event.

The empowered group of ministers on telecom, headed by finance minister P Chidambaram, has decided to seek TRAI's fresh recommendation on spectrum price following tepid response in last two rounds of spectrum auction.

TRAI has been asked to give its recommendation on unsold spectrum price 2G airwaves in 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz band and also for spectrum used for CDMA service in 13 circles that remained unsold.

The regulator in April 2012 had recommended over 10 times high price for pan-India airwaves compared to the amount paid by companies in 2008.

As per the recommendation, reserve price for 5 Mhz of spectrum in 1800 Mhz band, which was freed from cancellation of 2G licences, was Rs. 18,200 crore. The rate fixed for the 900 Mhz was two times that of 1800 Mhz band as the former is considered to be twice more efficient.

CDMA spectrum price was fixed at 1.3 times of 1800 Mhz airwaves frequencies.

The government reduced price of 1800 Mhz band by 23% for first round of auction after severe opposition from industry and further by 30% for the second round.

Price of CDMA spectrum was reduced by 50%. Still the auctions saw muted response from bidders.

The recommendation of TRAI will be placed before EGoM which will further gives its recommendation to Cabinet for fixing the final price.


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