Telecom Ministry will this week place before the Cabinet for approval the 3G spectrum base price for the auction planned in February. “It (3G spectrum base price) is proposed to be placed before cabinet on Wednesday,” an official source said. Also Read - TRAI report on mobile service quality of telcos by January-end
The inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission on Monday finalised its recommendation for per megahertz 3G spectrum price. Also Read - Working on a roadmap for revising national optical fibre network project: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Sources quoted two different prices – Rs. 3,889 crores and Rs. 3,705 crores, as the per megahertz price recommended by the panel but the same could not be confirmed officially. Also Read - Union Budget 2015: 7.5 lakh kilometre of optical fibre will be laid under Digital India campaign
The Commission, headed by Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg, has recommended price for only 5 megahertz of 3G spectrum compared to total of 20MHz as recommended for auction by Trai and demanded by industry.
All the 3G spectrum being put for auction and demand made by industry are to be freed by the Defence Ministry. The Ministry has agreed to free 5MHz of 3G spectrum as of now and 15MHz when the government will notify dedicated spectrum for defence forces as ‘Defence Band and Defence Interest Zone’.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expects the dedicated spectrum band for the defence sector to be notified in February.
Trai has recommended auctioning all 20MHz and providing rest of 15MHz spectrum after it is freed by the defence sector. However, the government as of now has decided to auction only 5MHz spectrum that has been cleared by the Defence.
The Department of Telecom has announced dates for next round of spectrum auction for 800MHz (CDMA), 900MHz and 1800MHz bands but is yet to share details of 3G spectrum.
The government expects to raise at least Rs. 64,840 crores from the auction, excluding 3G.
The Commission did not discuss issues related to National Optical Fibre Network.