Millennium Post

Commission for concluding spectrum auction by 28 Feb

The proposed telecom spectrum auction should be completed by 28 February next year, inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has said. ‘Telecom Commission has decided Chairman of the panel ie Secretary, DoT is authorised to recommend the time line for auction process with condition that it would be desirable for the auction be concluded by 28 February, 2015,’ an official source said.

An inter-ministerial committee formed to work on the modalities of spectrum auction has suggested to start bidding rounds from 3 February. The government expects to garner a minimum of Rs 9,355 crore from auction of three sets of spectrum band — 800 Mhz , currently being used for CDMA services, while the other two sets of band ,900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz, are being used for GSM-based mobile services by leading companies like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Uninor.

The spectrum auction is to be conducted for radiowaves in 900 Mhz held by existing telecom operators — Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications — as their licences are expiring in 2015-16. 

In the 900 Mhz band, about 184 Mhz of spectrum is likely to be auctioned. In 1800 Mhz, the government has proposed to auction 104 Mhz of spectrum which included spectrum held by licences that are expiring in 2015-16 and unsold airwaves in February 2014 auction. The DoT has over 130 days to meet the deadline decided by the panel. The February 2014 auction were concluded in about 65 days time from the date Cabinet decided on base price of spectrum for the auction. 
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