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Trai seeks industry views on value, price of 800-MHz spectrum

Move comes after a series of communication between the regulator and the DoT

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Monday floated a consultation paper on valuation and reserve price of the 800-MHz spectrum band, currently used by CDMA operators.

The move comes after a series of communication between the regulator and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Trai had in September suggested that there was no need for auction of the 800-MHz spectrum and an extended GSM band should be adopted, taking spectrum out of this band. But a DoT committee had opposed the recommendation. Trai had also said by adopting the extended GSM band, the government could get three to four times more for the same spectrum.

In the consultation paper, Trai has invited views of interested entities on valuation of CDMA spectrum, proposed to be sold through auction.

“On December 12, 2013, DoT requested the authority to furnish their recommendations on the reserve price for the 800-MHz (CDMA) band in all service areas... In this context, Trai has issued consultation paper, raising specific issues for consideration of stakeholders,” Trai said in a statement.

Interested entities can give their comments on the consultation paper by January 15 and counter comments by January 22, it said.

Trai would hold an open-house discussion on the subject on January 27, after which it would give its recommendations on the minimum price that should be kept for the CDMA spectrum.

In the consultation paper, Trai said DoT has proposed to auction 57.5 MHz of the CDMA spectrum but there would be additional 50 MHz of these frequencies available if the department accepted Tata Teleservices’ offer to surrender additional CDMA spectrum, state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd vacated the entire CDMA band and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd retained one slot of these frequencies.

DoT had earlier said the quantum of spectrum to be put for auction would be decided by the government separately.

The government had earlier reduced the pan-India reserve price of the 800-MHz spectrum by about 50 per cent for the auction in March 2013 — which saw only Sistema Shyam Teleservices bidding — after it failed to attract any bidder in the November 2012 auction.

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First Published: Tue, December 31 2013. 00:44 IST
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