Millennium Post

Largest ever spectrum auction to net Rs 64,840 cr

The government will sell 380.75 megahertz of second generation (2G) spectrum in three bands -- the premium 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 800 MHz.

Spectrum in 2100 MHz may also be put on auction simultaneously after Defence Ministry vacates it.

The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a reserve price of “Rs 3646 crore pan-India per MHz in 800 MHz, Rs 3980 crore for 900 MHz band pan India excluding Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and J&K; Rs 2191 crore pan India (excluding Maharashtra and West Bengal) in 1800 MHz band,” an official statement said here on Monday.

Reserve price for 2,100 MHz was not announced yesterday. Government had garnered about Rs 62,162 crore from the last auction in February 2014. Proceeds from this year’s auction will help government reach its fiscal deficit target of 4.1 per cent of GDP.

As per the tentative timelines drawn by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), last date for submission of application is February 2 and bidders will be pre-qualified by February 13. The auction will start on February 23. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government intends to auction third generation or 3G spectrum in 2,100 MHz simultaneously.

“What had been pending for last many years, that is 5 MHz in 2,100 MHz from Defence, we have been able to do it,” he told PTI.

The focus of the February auction, he said, “is to provide adequate spectrum, prevent hoarding, fair competition, improve telecom services for consumers and adequate revenue for government.”

The reserve or auction start price approved today is the same as the one recommended by the Telecom Commission, except in the case of 900 MHz. The Telecom Commission had proposed a reserve price of Rs 3,695 crore for each MHz in 900 Mhz. Against this, Cabinet approved reserve price of Rs 3980 crore.

“The estimated revenues from this auction are Rs 64,840 crore (excluding 2100 MHz spectrum) of which Rs 16,000 crore is expected to be realized in the current financial year,” the statement said.
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