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TC seeks clarifications from Trai on spectrum price

Inter-ministerial body will take the final decision on October 29 taking into account Trai's reply

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Telecom Commission today decided to seek clarifications from sectoral regulator Trai on its recommendations on spectrum auction, including a sharp reduction in the reserve price.

The inter-ministerial body will take the final decision on October 29 taking into account Trai's reply.

Last month, Trai had recommended about 37% cut in base price for 1800 MHz band, compared to the reserve price in the last auction. For 900 Mhz, it recommended a reduction of around 60%.

"By and large, we have gone through all recommendations. On some we have sought clarification and further views of Trai," Telecom Secretary M F Farooqui told reporters here.

However, he added: "But don't think that (just because) we have sought clarification means that we have not agreed."

He said that based on the reply to be given by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, the commission will take a final decision on October 29.

"Based on Trai reply, TC will take final decision on October 29. We will try to conduct the auction by December or January," Farooqui added.

Trai justified the reduction in spectrum price and showed various methodologies used for arriving at final price.

Trai suggested that there should be no auction for the spectrum (800 MHz) used by CDMA operators as of now since there was no demand for these radiowaves in the auction last year, and only one company participated in March 2013 auction.

The government has to conduct the third round of spectrum auction following a Supreme Court order in 2G case directing that all the radiowaves freed from the cancellation of 122 licences in February 2012 should be auctioned.

Another set of auction for 900 Mhz has to be conducted as some of the radiowaves in this band are held under old telecom licences which will start expiring from November 2014.

The government expects to garner around Rs 11,000 crore from the spectrum auction.

First Published: Thu, October 03 2013. 18:39 IST