Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has finalized the base price for spectrum to be auctioned in February with some riders.TC held a meeting yesterday to discuss the next round of spectrum auction including finalization of the base price. “The TC has given approval to DoT’s committee recommended reserve price with some conditions. Other matters regarding the auction were also discussed,” said a source. The committee of the Department of Telecom had suggested a base price of Rs 3,646 crore per Mhz for the auction of 800 Mhz spectrum, used for offering CDMA services, which is 17 per cent higher than what the regulator Trai has recommended. Also Read - Airtel 5G Mumbai trials show download speeds of 1.2Gbps, upload at 850Mbps
The price of 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz as recommended by DoT committee could not be ascertained. The TC’s decision will now be placed before Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for final approval and after that Cabinet might be approached for certain issues, the source said. The TC yesterday discussed the revised recommendations submitted by sectoral regulator Trai on the pricing of 800, 900 and 1800 MHz bands. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has reiterated its recommendations for 900 and 1800 Mhz bands, while it has increased the base price by 15 percent for 800 MHz band. Also Read - Let our firms take part in 5G trials, China tells India
The DoT had sent back Trai’s recommendations on 800, 900 and 1800 MHz bands for reconsidering some points. The next round of spectrum auction is proposed to be held in February and the government is estimated to garner at least Rs 9,355 crore from sale of radiowaves. 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. Also Read - DoT permits telecom service providers to go ahead with 5G trials
Trai has also released a consultation paper on pricing of 2100 MHz band, used for offering 3G services, as the government plans to auction this band along with 800, 900 and 1800 MHz in February. Telecom companies as well as the regulator have been of the view that the auction should take place only when adequate spectrum is made available, and the bidding should be held simultaneously for both the services – 2G and 3G.