The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has clarified to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that it can offer more than one slot of 5MHz of spectrum for auction in circles that have spare spectrum available after refarming. The move is expected to help in lowering spectrum prices in these circles during the proposed auction.
The TRAI had earlier recommended that only one slot of 5Mhz band in the 1,800 MHz band should be offered for auction and the rest should be used for refarming of spectrum.
The DoT had sought clarifications on the TRAI’s recommendations on spectrum auction following the Supreme Court order cancelling all the 122 licences on January 2, 2010.
TRAI chairman JS Sarma, who retired on Sunday, sent the clarifications on his last working day.
However, there is no change on its views on issues such as pricing, rural obligations, refarming and liberalisation of spectrum.
The TRAI, in its recommendations, had fixed a reserve price of Rs 3,622 crore per MHz of spectrum in the 1,800 band (about 10 times more than the price at which these companies received licences) and R7,244 crore per MHz of spectrum in the 900 band. While the industry considers the price to be very high, the regulator has said that its impact will not be more than three paise per minute.