The government is hoping to garner over Rs.48,000 cr

The Union Cabinet, on Monday, approved the reserved prices for spectrum sale as recommended by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom — Rs.1,765 crore per MHz pan-India for 1800 MHz band and Rs.360 crore, Rs.328 crore and Rs.125 crore per MHz in metro service areas of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, respectively, for 900 MHz band.

Govt. hopes to garner Rs.48,000 crore

Notably, the spectrum prices are 26 per cent lower than the base price in case of 1800 MHz band and 53 per cent less in 900 MHz band than the previous auction prices. The government is hoping to garner over Rs.48,000 crore from the spectrum sale slated for January next year.

“The Cabinet approved…the reserve price for 1800 MHz band of Rs.1,765 crore per MHz pan India, which works out to be Rs.8,825 crore for 5 MHz pan India...The decisions will result in further efficient utilisation of the scarce natural resource of spectrum facilitating expansion of telecom services in the country,” said the government release issued after conclusion of the Cabinet meeting.

The EGoM, headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, had suggested the minimum price for the auction of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band at a 15 per cent higher rate than suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) at Rs.1,496 crore. The Department of Telecom has decided to auction 403.2 MHz of 2G spectrum in the 1800 MHz frequency. It is also planning to auction about 46 MHz of spectrum in the 900 MHz band held by Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Loop Mobile in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata will also be auctioned as their licences are due to expire in the last quarter of 2014.

More In: Business | Industry