Telcos to pay Rs 31,000 cr spectrum allocation fee
India, which traditionally bundled airwaves with telecom permits and charged just about $300 million for all India permits, is for the first time auctioning off second-generation airwaves after a scandal over a state grant process in 2008.
The telecommunications ministry had planned to hold two separate auctions for airwaves used by GSM and CDMA-based mobile phone carriers hoping to reap a combined 400 billion rupees ($7.4 billion) to plug a high fiscal deficit.
The government has set a base price of 140 billion rupees for 5 mega hertz of GSM airwaves in all the 22 zones, more than seven times what companies paid in the 2008 grant process. The base price of CDMA airwaves had been set 1.3 times the GSM airwaves.
But India has been left with no bidders for the CDMA part of the auction after Tata Teleservices and Videocon Telecommunications dropped out of the sale.
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