Will discuss telecom regulator's recommendations on unified licences and auction of spectrum
An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) would meet on Tuesday next week to discuss telecom regulator Trai's recommendations on unified licences and auction of spectrum, an official said today.
The Telecom Commission, the decision making body of the Telecom Department, would also meet on Monday next week to discuss the Trai recommendations, the Telecom Ministry official said.
The EGoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was looking into the issue of vacating spectrum and now its terms of reference have been extended to include spectrum allocation and licence related issues.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Defence Minister AK Antony, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, Law Minister Salman Khursheed and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia are members of EGoM.
Trai on Monday recommended a base price of Rs 3,622 crore for one megahertz of spectrum at pan-India level which is around 10 times higher than base or minimum price for spectrum that was allocated for 2G service in 2008 by then telecom minister A Raja.
Also, telecom service providers today reached out to Sibal against Trai's recommendations with five point agenda saying tariffs could go up to 30% if spectrum would be allocated at higher cost.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Uninor and Videocon Telecommunications, in the letter, said that the high auction price, if at all paid, will not leave any resource in the hands of the operators to do the required network rollouts.
They said the move is also likely to push back the industry by several years, thus compromising both the connectivity as well as broadband agenda of the country.
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