3G: Trai price, quantum ignored

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New Delhi | Updated: January 20, 2015 5:07:15 AM

The Telecom Commission on Monday once again cherry-picked from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommendations while...

The Telecom Commission on Monday once again cherry-picked from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommendations while finalising the reserve price for 3G spectrum, reports fe Bureau in New Delhi. Against the Trai recommended price of fixing R2,720 crore per MHz, the commission fixed it 36% higher at R3,705 crore per MHz. This was after Trai last week wrote to the department of telecommunications not to cherry-pick from its recommendations stating that either its methodology for calculating the reserve price should be taken in totality or a new methodology should be devised. Earlier, the TC has deviated from the regulator’s recommendation while fixing the reserve price for 1800, 900 and 800 MHz spectrum also.

However, what comes as a major jolt to operators is not the hike in price but the quantum of 3G spectrum that would be put up for auction.

Telecom Commission, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, 3G spectrum

Against the Trai’s recommendation that 15 MHz of spectrum be put up for auction which the defence has agreed to swap with DoT, the TC has decided to put only 5 MHz spectrum that it would get from the defence as part of a 2009 pact.

Had the TC decided to auction the full 20 MHz 3G spectrum, not only would the spectrum pool have increased for operators, thereby checking prices from hitting the roof, it would have also provided all operators 3G spectrum on a pan-India basis.

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