The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) may propose to a ministerial panel next week to either seek sectoral regulator TRAI’s views on auction of telecom spectrum in the CDMA band or to auction the radiowaves after the GSM spectrum auction due this fiscal. “It has been discussed that for 800 Megahertz band (CDMA spectrum) there can be two scenarios. First, refer it to TRAI for making recommendations and second, hold auction of spectrum in 800 Mhz band in succession to the forthcoming auction of 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz band (both being used for GSM services),” an official source said.
The proposal will go to an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, for final decision only after approval of top authorities at the Telecom Ministry. EGoM is likely to meet sometime next week.
On December 7, DoT has sought EGoM’s decision on action to be taken in the matter of 800 Mhz spectrum but it was deferred by the panel.
The centre failed to auction CDMA spectrum at 1.3 times high price to that of GSM spectrum in 1800 Mhz band in the auction process that concluded in November.
The pan-India price for 5 Mhz of spectrum in 1800 Mhz band was fixed at Rs.14,000 crore.