Telcos get over three weeks to register for second round of spectrum auction

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Telecom companies interested in buying spectrum in the second round of auction beginning March 11 have being given over three weeks to register for participation.

Last date for submission of applications is February 22, according to the notice inviting appications (NIA) issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) at New Delhi.

The auction is expected to fetch over Rs. 45,000 crore to government if all the airwaves for which bids are invited are sold at base price.

Issuing the NIA, the DoT said last date for submission of applications is February 22 while the final list of bidders will be out by March 6.

Mock auction will take place on March 8-9 and auction process for 1800MHz and 900MHz will commence on March 11, NIA said.

Auction of 800MHz will start two days from the close of first auction, it added.

In order to ensure aggressive bidding, the government has removed restrictions on the number slots that a company should be allowed to bid in the auction for both CDMA and GSM spectrum.

In the last auction held in November, new operators were mandatorily bid for a minimum of 4 blocks of 1.25MHz each and a maximum of five for GSM spectrum.

It was a minimum of two and a maximum of three in case of CDMA airwaves.

The government will put 12 blocks of 1.25MHz each in Delhi and Mumbai for 1800MHz and 900MHz while 10 blocks in 900MHz will be put on the auction table for Kolkata.

In Karnataka and Rajasthan, 8 blocks of 1.25MHz each (10MHz) is being put to auction while additionally, a provision is also made available for spectrum up to three blocks each for topping up.

For 800MHz auction, 3 blocks each of 1.25MHz (3.75MHz) is being put to auction.

"In addition, a provision has been made for spectrum of one block, wherever available, for topping up the 3 blocks of spectrum put to auction, to meet the requirement of new entrants, if such an exigency arises," the NIA said.

In the second round of auction, government will put unsold GSM spectrum in 1800Mhz band and airwaves held by telecom licences in 900Mhz band that is coming for renewal starting 2014 onwards.

Government had slashed base price of CDMA spectrum by 50 percent and for unsold GSM spectrum by 30 percent.

The price of spectrum in 900Mhz has been fixed at two times the price of airwaves in 1800Mhz.

The government has also given the option of deferred payment to the successful bidders.

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