entity to retain only one block of 3G spectrum while the second block had to be returned to the government.
In the latest note, DoT has also stated that companies will have to surrender spectrum after merging if total holding of the resultant entity crosses the prescribed limit set by the government. For this, companies will get one year. Moreover, while the validity of mobile licences will be according to that of the acquiring company, validity of spectrum held by company being acquired shall not be extended.
The draft rules also state that the acquiring company will pay the difference between the entry fee and the auction-determined price of spectrum for spectrum beyond 4.4MHz in GSM band and 2.5MHz in CDMA band, if the spectrum was originally acquired by paying the entry fee. The differential should be paid to the government at the time of merger. However, no separate charges will be required to be paid for spectrum acquired through auctions conducted from 2010. This move will also benefit incumbent players such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone who got spectrum by paying entry fee.