India is looking at holding spectrum auctions for the fourth generation (4G) mobile services by the end of this year, besides finalising plans to sell off radio waves for the 2G services, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has said.
“By the end of the year, we are actually going to auction 4G (spectrum). That is what our intent is. We have enough spectrum now to share with everybody,” he said at the India Day function, organised by his ministry at the Mobile World Congress here.
Mr. Sibal said the government would have enough radio waves for all operators after it was released from the defence services as well as the cancellation of 122 2G new licences by the Supreme Court in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
Mr. Sibal added, however, that the government did not want to put all the spectrum for auction at one go but the final decision would depend a lot on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
“In fact, we don't think that we are going to put all the spectrum for auction. But that depends on what Mr. Sarma (TTAI Chairman) does for us. The idea being that we should come up with enough spectrum to get reasonable price for ourselves,” he said.
The Minister said that the government would auction 2G spectrum as well which would be vacated by the cancellation of licences following the Supreme Court order.
“We will auction spectrum. When that auction will take place is something that we have to work out. The procedures are laborious, the procedures are complex,” he said.
The Minister said the procedure for holding spectrum auctions should be very transparent.