Trai asks DoT to confirm EGoM direction on CDMA base price

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 16 2013, 08:03am hrs
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has sought confirmation from the department of telecom whether the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) on telecom has directed it to seek recommendations on the base price for CDMA spectrum auction.

DoT had earlier asked Trai four times for its views on CDMA spectrum base price. The EGoM in its meeting on November 22 asked the DoT to approach Trai afresh for CDMA spectrum base price so that it can be put for auction.

Sources said Trai in its December 13 response to DoT sought confirmation whether its recommendations related to CDMA spectrum along with DoTs view were placed before the EGoM headed by finance minister P Chidambaram.

According to sources, Trai said it presumed that on presentation of all facts, the EGoM has directed DoT to request the regulator for recommendation on reserve price for the auction of spectrum in 800 MHz (CDMA) for all circles.

The regulator had earlier in September recommended against auction of CDMA spectrum and suggested that the government explore if parts of these airwaves frequency could be used for a E-GSM services.

The DoT had explained to Trai that E-GSM band required vacation of spectrum by the defence ministry, which is likely to take time. In this scenario, keeping unsold spectrum in the 800 MHz (CDMA) band would result in revenues foregone for the government, DoT had said

Trai in its latest communication has asked DoT if it has examined the possibility of making alternate arrangements for the spectrum that needs to be vacated by defence forces which is hampering path for E-GSM service.

Pure-play CDMA operator Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) has accused Trai of favouring GSM players who have placed this idea before the regulator.

Trai also asked DoT to explain the rationale behind the proposal to put less quantum of CDMA airwaves for the auction compared to the auction in March 2013.