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Crucial week ahead for spectrum row

india Updated: Apr 09, 2012 01:12 IST
Manoj Gairola
Manoj Gairola
Hindustan Times
Manoj Gairola

Around eight crore subscribers on the network of new operators as well as service providers themselves will be eagerly looking at the week-ahead.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will give its recommendation on 2G spectrum auction during the week and the Supreme Court will hear on April 13 the government's review petition on the SC's February 2 verdict on the cancellation of licences.

In its verdict, the Supreme Court ordered cancellation of 122 licences issued during the regime of former communications and IT minister A Raja on or after February 2, 2008 as they were issued on a first come first served (FCFS) basis. The licences are to be cancelled within four months, ie, by June 2.

The TRAI will recommend guidelines for spectrum auction, its modalities, reserve price and quantity of spectrum to be auctioned. Once, the regulator submits its recommendations to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the government should complete the auction and allot spectrum to the winners by June 2 so that they can offer seamless services to subscribers.

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Otherwise, eight crore subscribers will be without services after June 2. Competition in the market will also be drastically reduced, giving rise to the possibility of old operators increasing prices. According to industry experts, the increase in tariff could be anywhere between 30% and 100%. Around 900 million telecom subscribers will be directly effected.

The government had requested a minimum of 400 days to complete the auction process.

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