3G Spectrum Auction :TRAI recommends 22% Lower Base Price
Telecom regulator TRAI recommended a base price of Rs 2,720
crore per Mhz for pan India 3G spectrum, about 22 % lower than the previous
auction which would provide some relief to mobile operators.
Government in 2010 had auctioned 3G spectrum at pan-India
reserve price of Rs 3,500 crore per megahertz.
Besides, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has
recommended that DoT should put additional 15 Mhz for auction, which has to be
obtained in exchange of spectrum that is with the Defence services.
The Department of Telecom, however, is optimistic of getting
5 Mhz of 3G spectrum (2100 Mhz band) from the Defence Ministry.
The Authority recommends that the reserve price for 2100 MHz
spectrum in each LSA (licence service area) should be...Rs 2,720 crore.
The regulator has recommended that the DoT should take all
measures to ensure that the 2100 MHz spectrum which was earlier assigned to
S-TEL in three service areas - Bihar, Orissa and Himachal Pradesh - is also
put to auction.
STel closed its business in India after the Supreme Court
cancelled 122 licences in February 2012 in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
Incidentally, the 2010 reserve price for 3G spectrum had
formed the basis of CAG estimating notional loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore
in 2G spectrum allocation case of 2008.
The auction for 800, 900 and 1800 megahertz bands is
expected to be held in February and DoT is also mulling auctioning 3G
radiowaves (2100 Mhz) along with these three bands.
TRAI has recommended that in upcoming auction of 2100 MHz
band spectrum, an auction-specific cap should be placed that no bidder would be
permitted to bid for more than 2 blocks in an LSA if 3-4 blocks are available
in that licence service area.
TSTP (Test Schedule Test Procedure) which prescribes the
process and method for measurements and tests to be carried out to ensure the
required roll-out of the 3G network should be finalised at the earliest but, in
any case, no later than the conduct of the February 2015 auction.
In 2010, there was obligation to roll out network within 5
years of spectrum allocation.
Telecom operators already having 3G spectrum will have to
follow same roll out obligation that were prescribed when it acquired 3G
spectrum in 2010.