Cabinet approves spectrum liberalisation, to get Rs 1,300 crore
The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared liberalisation of spectrum, which was assigned to telcos at an administrative price without auctionbusiness Updated: Apr 06, 2016 23:54 IST
The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared liberalisation of telecom spectrum, which was assigned to telcos at an administrative price without auction.
“This decision was taken on the basis of the recommendations of the sector regulator, TRAI, and about Rs 1,300 crore is likely to accrue by this process,” a government spokesperson tweeted.
Spectrum liberalisation allows operators to use any technology to deliver mobile services such as 3G and 4G, and also enables spectrum sharing and trading.
The development will help Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) to liberalise spectrum in four circles — Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu — where the market-determined price was not available, for Rs 1,300 crore.
RCom had applied for liberalising its 800 MHz spectrum in 20 circles a few months back. The company has already paid Rs 5,383.84 crore as spectrum liberalisation fee for 16 telecom circles.
Earlier, telecom firms were given 4.4-megahertz (MHz) spectrum along with licence at Rs 1,658 crore for pan-India operations. They were also entitled for another 1.8 MHz on fulfilment of certain subscriber-based criteria.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested that the government can provisionally liberalise spectrum on price suggested by it for auction, and take undertaking from companies that it will adjust the rest of the price when the actual auction takes place.
Meanwhile, in a major FDI go-ahead, American Tower Corp (ATC) has received the government nod for 51% stake buy in domestic telecom tower firm Viom Networks for Rs 5,856 crore, and has pledged to invest $2 billion more in India. Tata Teleservices owns 54% of Viom while Kolkata-based SREI Group of the Kanoria family holds 18.5% with management control.