The Telecom Commission, the highest decision making body in the telecom sector, on Monday lined up a series of questions on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the auction of 2G spectrum, which has upset industry players who perceive the reserve prices set by the regulator to be too high.
In its first meeting after the regulator submitted its recommendations on April 23, the commission has sought clarity on most key recommendations.
The commission also finalised NM Rothschild & Sons as consultants for conducting the auction. The firm was also consultant for the 3G and 4G auction in 2010.The commission, headed by the secretary of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), will brief the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) on Tuesday about its views on the TRAI’s recommendations.
Members of the commission will ask the rational for keeping the reserve price of Rs 3,622 crore per Mhz of spectrum in the 1,800 band and Rs 7,244 crore per Mhz in the 900 band, a member of the commission said.
The current round of auction is taking place after the Supreme Court cancelled 122 licences issued during the regime of former communications minister A Raja. The apex court directed the government to conduct the auction.
The commission will ask the TRAI about the need for refarming the spectrum at this point of time. “We will seek clarifications from the TRAI in a couple of days,” the member said. The government wants the regulator’s clarifications before TRAI chairman JS Sarma retires on May 13.