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Updated: December 5, 2013 16:24 IST

Spectrum auction documents in 2-3 weeks, says DoT Secretary

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A file picture of Telecom Secretary M.F. Farooqui. Photo: Ramesh Sharma.
Business Line
A file picture of Telecom Secretary M.F. Farooqui. Photo: Ramesh Sharma.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is likely to issue within 20 days a notice inviting applicants for the sale of 2G spectrum in the third round of auctions planned to be held in January.

“In about 15-20 days time from now,” Telecom Secretary MF Farooqui told reporters in New Delhi when asked in how many days the notice inviting application (NIA) will be out.

He said the government will be auctioning around 400 Mhz spectrum in 1800 MHz band and 45 Mhz in 900 MHz band.

“At the moment what we are going ahead with is 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz, so about 400 Mhz totally in 1800 Mhz band and about 45 MHz in 900 Mhz band (will be auctioned),” he said.

The Government is expecting a minimum of Rs 11,000 crore from the upcoming spectrum auction.

The government has set revenue target of Rs 40,874.50 crore this fiscal from spectrum, including auction amount, one-time spectrum charge and annual regular licence fee.

Asked about the auction in the 800 Mhz band, used by CDMA service providers, Mr. Farooqui said DoT will write to sectoral regulator TRAI asking for recommendations on the reserve price this week.

“DoT will write to TRAI this week,” he said but refused to give a timeline for the auction.

“The timeline, I cannot predict... Once we have the reply from TRAI, we have to examine this, it will have to go to the Telecom Commission and EGoM and so on... I don’t want to make a commitment about the timeline,” he added.

TRAI had not recommended a reserve price for 800 MHz band and asked DoT to explore the feasibility of EGSM band for this frequency.

DoT wrote to the regulator for suggesting the reserve price for 800 MHz but TRAI has sought a fresh reference for the recommendations on the issue.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended up to 60 per cent cut in the auction reserve price for spectrum in the 900 MHz band in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles. It had also suggested 37 per cent cut in the reserve price for spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.

However, Telecom Commission, the highest decision making body of DoT, had recommended raising reserve price of pan-India mobile phone spectrum by 15 per cent over the one suggested by TRAI, and 25 per cent higher in case of key circles like Delhi and Mumbai.

The Empowered Group of Ministers has approved the price recommended by the Telecom Commission.

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