Millennium Post

Review your 3G spectrum pricing proposals: Telecom panel to Trai

Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission (TC) has decided to send back Trai’s recommendations on 3G spectrum pricing for reconsideration. According to sources, TC  on Wednesday discussed Trai's proposals on 2100 MHz band base price, used for 3G services, at its meeting and decided to send back the recommendations for a  review.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on December 31 had recommended a base price at Rs 2,720 crore per megahertz.

An internal committee of the Department of Telecom (DoT) is believed to have suggested fixing base price of 3G spectrum at Rs 3,899 crore per megahertz, about 43 per cent higher than the rate recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

"The committee is of the view that market determined price of 2010 should be indexed using SBI PLR and 80 per cent of that price can be fixed as reserve price for 2100 Mhz band (used for 3G services)," a source said.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, using SBI PLR, worked out the indexed price of Rs 4,874.59 crore per megahertz.

Back of the envelope calculations show that 80 per cent value of indexed price will come to about Rs 3,899 crore/MHz.

As per the practice in place, Trai sends back its final comments in about 15 days which are again placed before the Telecom Commission for its final call. In 2010, the final 3G spectrum rate paid by telecom operators was Rs 3,349.87 crore per megahertz.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said the government intends to auction third generation or 3G spectrum in 2,100 MHz simultaneously with 2G airwaves.
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