Mistry meets Sibal about TRAI’s auction

Amidst industry chorus against the sector regulator the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendations on auction of scarce spectrum, Tata Group chairman designate Cyrus Mistry and Tata Teleservices MD Srinath Narasimhanon Monday called on telecom minister Kapil Sibal to discuss issues facing the sector.

Mistry and Narasimhan, who were closeted with Sibal at the minister’s official residence here for about half an hour, did not offer any comments on the meeting.

Telecom secretary R Chandrashekhar was also present at the meeting.

Telecom operators have already raised concerns about the steep hike in spectrum prices, which they say could lead to mobile phone tariffs going up by as much as 100 per cent in certain circles.

The TRAI has proposed Rs 3,622.18 crore for one megahertz (MHz) as base or minimum price for pan-India spectrum in 1800 MHz for auction.

Also, TRAI has suggested that the reserve price for 800 MHz (CDMA) and 900 MHz (GSM) bands be at least 2 times higher than that of minimum price for 1800 MHz band (also used be GSM operators currently). The Telecom Commission, which met on 26 May, has left the decision on pricing to the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), which will meet on 5 June , telecom commission chairman and telecom secretary R Chandrashekhar said on Monday.
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