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Telecom Commission sends back Trai’s suggestions on spectrum

Telecom Commission sends back Trai’s suggestions on spectrum
Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has decided to send back Trai's recommendations on spectrum valuation and pricing for a review, saying that some of them can't be implemented in the present form.

‘Telecom Commission on Friday decided to send back reference to TRAI as some clarification is required on some of the recommendations. Some recommendations also cannot be implemented and hence TC wants TRAI to reconsider them,’ a DoT official said. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had last month given its recommendations on valuation and pricing of 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz spectrum bands, being used for 2G services, for the next round of auction.

The regulator had suggested about 10 per cent higher price for spectrum in 1800 Mhz over the final bid price that was received in the February auction.

TC has also has sent back recommendation given for 800 Mhz (CDMA) spectrum band by TRAI in February for reconsidering some points. The regulator had suggested CDMA spectrum reserve price of Rs 2,685 crore per megahertz for auction, which is around 50 per cent higher than the previous pan-India base price. The regulator has also recommended selling radiowaves in the 2100 Mhz band along with the proposed auction. Part of spectrum in 2100 Mhz band is held by Defence and DoT is in discussions to get some frequencies vacated for 3G mobile services in this band.

‘Discussion is on with Defence. TC has decided to focus on spectrum for auction that is coming up for renewal,’ the official said.

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. The next round of spectrum auction is proposed to be held in February 2015 from which government is estimated to garner at least Rs 9,355 crore.

TRAI has also recommended taking back 900 Mhz spectrum from state-run BSNL and most of CDMA spectrum from MTNL and BSNL. The suggestion has been turned down by DoT's internal committee saying DoT has no jurisdiction to take back spectrum from these companies under the licence conditions.
PTI

PTI

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