Telecom Commission Likely to Deliberate on Spectrum Auction on December 8

Telecom Commission Likely to Deliberate on Spectrum Auction on December 8
Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission (TC) is likely to meet on December 8 to deliberate on the next round of spectrum auction proposed to be held in February.

"The meeting is likely to be held on December 8 but the agenda has not been finalised yet," a DoT source told PTI.

The next round of spectrum auction is proposed to be held in February and the government is estimated to garner at least Rs. 9,355 crores from sale of radiowaves. Sectoral regulator Trai has already submitted its revised recommendations on the pricing of 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has reiterated its recommendations for 900MHz and 1800MHz bands while it has increased the base price by 15 percent for 800MHz band. The DoT had sent back Trai's recommendations on 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands for reconsidering some points. The Telecom Commission will discuss the recommendations to take a call on the reserve price and other details regarding the auction.

Most of the spectrum which is proposed to be put up for sale is being used by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications across various parts of the country. These companies will need to buy back radiowaves to continue their operations in areas where their licences are expiring in 2015-16.

Trai has also released a consultation paper on pricing of 2100MHz band, used for offering 3G services, as the government plans to auction this band along with 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz in February.

Telecom companies as well as the regulator have been of the view that the auction should take place only when adequate spectrum is made available, and the bidding should be held simultaneously for both the services - 2G and 3G.

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Further reading: DoT, Spectrum, Spectrum Auction, Telecom, Trai
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