50% cut in reserve price of CDMA spectrum
Sibal said that auction of CDMA spectrum will be held immediately after auction of GSM spectrum bands 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz planned to start from March 11 onward.
Sibal said another decision to reduce price of unsold GSM spectrum in 1800 Mhz by 30 per cent has already been taken. In November 2012, GSM spectrum did not attract any bid in Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
The Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, had recommended 50 per cent or 30 per cent reduction in base price of CDMA spectrum as there was no bidder for it in November 2012 auction.
"Option of 50 per cent reduction was placed before the Cabinet as there is apprehension that at 30 per cent reduction there might be no bidder for it (CDMA)," an official had said.
Earlier, the government had fixed 11-time high base price for CDMA spectrum, compared to the amount paid by operators in 2008, for November auction.
GSM operators body COAI said that the Cabinet decision to reduce CDMA spectrum price will create unlevel playing field in the industry.
"Whole pricing rational is broken down completely and create unlevel playing field becuase now a person who has got 800 Mhz offering CDMA service can definitely under price on the GSM side," COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said.
He said that GSM players will closely watch hearing of 2G spectrum on February 4 and "if the Supreme Court suo-moto takes congnizance and raises
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