No GSM applicant, second spectrum sale could be flop show again

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 26 2013, 03:31am hrs
Spectrum priceSistema Shyam is only firm for CDMA band at close of deadline for applying to take part in auction. (Ap)
The second round of 2G spectrum sale is virtually set to be a flop show as there is no applicant for GSM band of radiowaves while Sistema Shyam is the only firm for CDMA band at close of deadline today for applying to take part in the auction.

While no application was received for the GSM band spectrum at the close of deadline today, Russian Sistema's Indian joint venture, Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) was the lone applicant for the 800 Mhz CDMA-band airwaves.

Government plans to conduct auction for spectrum unsold in November auction along with spectrum that is held by operators whose licences are due for renewal in 2014.

"No application was received for the second round of 2G GSM spectrum till the official declared time of 5:00 pm today, while SSTL was the lone applicant in the CDMA spectrum auction," sources said.

The government has announced it will auction 15 MHz of radio waves each in Delhi and Mumbai in the 1800 Mhz band, currently used for 2G GSM services, as against 4.4 Mhz and 13.2 Mhz respectively released in these circles through

quashed permits.

The Supreme Court in its February last year had cancelled 122 2G telecom licences. The government in November held auction for sale of partial spectrum vacated by these companies. However, there was no bidder for CDMA spectrum and GSM band radiowaves in four circles as operators said the reserve price was too stiff.

Though 514.8 Mhz of spectrum was freed up as a result of the cancellation of licences, the government put up only 271.25 Mhz of spectrum for auction in November 2012.