The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a reserve price of R3,705 crore per megahertz (Mhz) for the March 4 auction of the 3G spectrum — 36% higher than what the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had recommended.
“The Cabinet has approved a reserve price of R3,705 crore per Mhz for the 2100 MHz band (which is used for 3G mobile services),” Union telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here after the Cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet in a meeting on January 5 had approved that 5 Mhz in the 2100 MHz band would be auctioned in March, but had not decided on the pricing at that time.
Apart from the 3G spectrum, the government is also going to auction 2G bands (800 MHz, 900MHz and 1800 MHz).
The Telecom Commission-recommended reserve price is around 11% higher than what telecom firms paid for in the 2010 auction.
On December 31, Trai recommended a reserve price of R2,720 crore for the 2100 Mhz band. The commission had, however, asked Trai to reconsider its recommendations on 3G pricing.