Telecom Commission pegs 900 Mhz spectrum base price 23% higher

By: |
December 09, 2014 10:29 PM

Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has recommended a base price of Rs 3,693 crore per megahertz...

The commission has finalised a base price of Rs 3,646 crore per Mhz for CDMA band, nearly 17 per cent higher than the price suggested by Trai. ReutersThe commission has finalised a base price of Rs 3,646 crore per Mhz for CDMA band, nearly 17 per cent higher than the price suggested by Trai. Reuters

Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has recommended a base price of Rs 3,693 crore per megahertz for the premium 900 MHz frequency band, about 23 per cent more than what regulator Trai had suggested for the same for the spectrum auction in February.

The commission has finalised a base price of Rs 3,646 crore per Mhz for CDMA band, nearly 17 per cent higher than the price suggested by Trai.

“The Telecom Commission has recommended that per megahertz price of spectrum in 900 Mhz band should be Rs 3,693 crore, 1800 Mhz should be Rs 2,191 crore and 800 Mhz be priced at Rs 3,646 crore,” an official source told PTI.

Trai had recommended that base price for 900 Mhz band price be kept at Rs 3,004 crore per Mhz, for 1800 Mhz at Rs 2,138 crore and for CDMA spectrum at Rs 3,104 crore.

The commission in its meeting yesterday finalised the base prices for spectrum auction early next year. The recommended base prices now would be placed before Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for final approval and after that Cabinet might be approached for certain issues.

Auction of spectrum in 900 Mhz band would be held for 18 telecom circles and buying one Mhz in each of these circles would cost Rs 3,693-crore to the bidder.

Similarly, spectrum in 1800 Mhz band is being auctioned in 20 circles while 800 Mhz band (CDMA) spectrum is on pan-India basis.

The auction is to be conducted for airwaves in 900 Mhz held by existing telecom operators Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications through their licences that are expiring in 2015-16.

In the 900 Mhz band about 184 Mhz of spectrum is likely to be auctioned. In 1800 Mhz, government has proposed to auction 104 Mhz of spectrum which included spectrum held by licences that are expiring in 2015-16 and unsold airwaves in February auction.

However, government wants to keep 8.2 Mhz of spectrum as Defence band which leaves only 104 Mhz spectrum available for auction.

In case CDMA spectrum, government has proposed to auction spectrum in about 11 out of 22 service for which there were no bids received in March 2013 auction due to high base price.

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