DoT to ask TRAI for its views on next spectrum auction

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The Department of Telecom will soon approach regulator TRAI asking for its recommendations on auction of airwaves being held by 29 licences which expire in 2015-16.

"The Telecom Commission in its meeting on May 24-26, 2012 had accepted TRAI's recommendation to conduct spectrum at least 18 months prior to expiry of licences. In this context, the DoT will ask TRAI to give its views on spectrum price in all service areas," an official source told PTI.

In December, 2015, four licences of Bharti Airtel, seven each of Idea Cellular and Reliance Telecom and six of Vodafone will complete their 20-year term and they need to be renewed.

By April 2016, two more permits of Bharti and Idea will come up for renewal.

The 29 licences together hold 197.8 megahertz of spectrum. They hold about 171.8 Mhz in 900 Mhz, and 26 Mhz in 1800 Mhz band.

Most of these licences have spectrum in the premium 900 Mhz band for which they have paid twice more than the base price fixed by government in the recent auction.

The 10-day long auction held in February gave the government over Rs 61,162 crore, far exceeding the target. Eight telecom firms had bid for 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz bands.

In the total tally bids worth Rs 23,590 crore were received for 900 Mhz spectrum in just three service areas --Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. The proposed auction will be held for licences covering about 18 of 22 service area.

The 1800 Mhz band auction fetched bids worth Rs 37,572.60 crore.


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