Following the recent Supreme Court order to auction the bandwidth vacated by companies, the Telecommunication Ministry is set to host a fresh round of bandwidth auctions starting March 11, according to a report on WSJ.
The Supreme Court had ordered the cancellation of around 122 telecom licenses which were issued during the 2G scam, and then ordered the government to hold a fresh round of auctions. Following the order, the government held a round of auctions in November last year where it put up 144 blocks of spectrum on sale, but could only manage to sell 101 of them. Many telecom companies had to shut shop at different circles where they couldn’t win spectrum, including Uninor, who had to finally shut down its operations in Mumbai this week.
The government now plans to sell the remaining 43 blocks where it didn’t get any bids in the last auction as well as the remaining blocks out of the original 176 blocks under a new policy, which is currently in the works. It has also extended the deadline for companies to submit the applications to participate in the auctions to Feb 25. The government also expects to earn around Rs 200 billion from the March auctions.