Spectrum auction by December end

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 19 2013, 14:05pm hrs
The next round of spectrum auction is expected by the end of this year with lower reserve prices compared to the ones fixed by the government in the previous round, telecom minister Kapil Sibal said on Friday.

Next set of auctions which are going to take place, we are looking by end of December, hopefully. What will be set for floor price on which telecom operators will bid...will be, I think, relatively lower for them to make competitive bids, Sibal said in a video message on the occasion of re-branding of GSM industry body COAI.

He said the matter will be decided by inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission (TC). The ministry will then send its views to the empowered group of ministers, which will forward its recommendations to the Cabinet for the final decision.

Meanwhile, a separate inter-ministerial committee formed for overseeing auction modalities has tentatively set January 7-8, 2014 to start the auctions.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended up to 62% reduction in base price of premium 2G spectrum and up to 37% in case of radiowaves freed from the cancellation of 122 licences, compared to the amount fixed for previous auction.

The TC has sought clarity on explanations given by Trai to lower reserve price and the next meeting of the commission is scheduled for October 29.