Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission is likely to take a call on Monday on allowing extended use of spectrum by Airtel and Vodafone to avoid disruption in their services in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, besides deciding on base price for the next round of auction.
“In view of public interest and absence of alternate possibility, the DoT will propose Telecom Commission to extend use of spectrum by Airtel and Vodafone in Delhi till January 14 and till December 15 in Mumbai and Kolkata,” an official source said.
Old permit of Vodafone in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata expired on November 29 as well as its right to use spectrum allocated under it. Airtel’s permit in Delhi and Kolkata also expired on the same day.
However, both the companies acquired spectrum afresh in February this year but sought time till January 2014 to adjust their mobile network as per the new frequency spots won by them.
In Delhi, Idea Cellular bagged 5 Megahertz of airwaves in premium 900 Mhz band, in which mobile signal covers double area compared to coverage in other spectrum band used for GSM services. The 5 Mhz spectrum won by Idea includes 3 Mhz of spectrum that was being used by Vodafone and 2 Mhz was with Airtel.
Idea has agreed to allow Airtel and Vodafone to use its spectrum till January 14, subject to regulatory approval.
Airtel has over 1 crore mobile subscribers in Delhi while Vodafone has over 93 lakh customers.
The Telecom Commission is likely to take call on reserve price for auction of spectrum in 800 Mhz (CDMA), 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz (GSM) band.
A DoT panel has proposed up to 17 per cent increase in price of CDMA spectrum compared to the base price recommended by sector regulator TRAI at Rs 3,646 crore per megahertz.
The panel has also suggested to increase price of 900 Mhz band spectrum in some circles by up to 20 per cent.
The Cabinet is likely to take a final call on reserve pricing for spectrum auction, planned to be held in February.