BSNL, MTNL won't participate in spectrum auction

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BSNL, MTNL won't participate in spectrum auction
State-owned telecom firms MTNL and BSNL on Thursday said they will not participate in the spectrum auction to be held in November.

"No, we are not taking part," BSNL CMD R K Upadhyay told PTI.

MTNL Chairman and Managing Director AK Garg said the company is not participating in the auction. "We have requisite spectrum with us," he added.

They were responding to queries whether the companies were looking at participating in the auction as October 19 is the last date for submitting application for participating in the spectrum sale.

The state-run telecom companies' will be absent even as new entrants as well as existing telecom operators are expected to participate in the auction in order to get additional spectrum for offering services.

The government will auction airwaves, freed from cancellation of 122 2G licences by the Supreme Court, in the 1800 MHz band starting November 12.

A base price of Rs 14,000 crore for 5 MHz of pan-India spectrum has been fixed, which is more than seven times than what carriers paid in earlier sales where airwaves were bundled with telecom permits.

Cash-strapped BSNL and MTNL have already approached the Department of Telecommunications in the past for surrendering Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum.

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