band is the most sought after by telecom operators as it has the best propagation characteristics. While adjacent 800 MHz too is good, except for Sistema, no other domestic telecom company uses this band. The current auction will not cover this band parts of which have been set aside to accommodate the spill over of transmission from the 900 MHz band by the companies.
Licences of Bharti and Vodafone for the 900 Mhz spectrum in the three metros are coming up for renewal in November this year. About 403 MHz of 2G spectrum in the 1800 MHz band and about 45 in the premium 900 MHz band is being put up for auction.
Auction of the 1800 band is a result of the Supreme Court order that the government sell all spectrum freed from the cancellation of 122 licences as a result of its judgment on February 2, 2012, in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
Those which have applied other than Vodafone, Bharti and Reliance Jio are Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Idea Cellular, Telewings and Reliance Communications.
While Loop Mobile MD and CEO Sandip Basu told PTI that the company has filed an application before telecom tribunal TDSAT for extension of licence and it expects ďa positive outcomeĒ, Sistema has filed a reply to the Trai consultation paper demanding that 800 MHz band prices, too, be clipped. Public sector BSNL and MTNL have also not applied for the bidding.
The bidding rules say that companies participating in auction for 900 MHz band will have to bid for a minimum of 5 MHz while for 1800 MHz, a new company will have to bid a minimum of 5 MHz and existing ones will have to bid for only three as this band is considered more efficient and hence needs less space than 900 MHz for running a service. A Reuters report said Norwegian firm Telenor has confirmed its interest for bidding in the auction.
SSTL opposes Trai proposal