New Delhi: Chief executives of telecom companies are likely to meet Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday, the second meeting in a week, on the issue of high base price fixed for auction of 2G spectrum.
The firms had on May 2 claimed that implementation of sector regulator TRAI's recommendation would lead to doubling of mobile telephony charges and had promised to submit proof of that within six hours.
TRAI, on the other hand, claims that the base price it has sent would lead to only a marginal 1.5-2 paisa increase in telecom tariffs.
"They (Chiefs of companies) promised to submit proof of their claims like tariff hike and other issues within six hours of meeting the Minister (Sibal). We were expecting it by Thursday but not yet received it. Minister has now given them time on Monday," a senior Telecom Ministry official told reporters.
As per the official, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal, Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao, Idea Cellular Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas and a top ranked representative from Videocon are likely to meet Sibal.
Telecom operators have claimed that if sector regulator Trai's recommendations on spectrum auction are approved then the telecom services rate can rise up to 100 percent in some circles.
Industry body COAI chairman and CEO of Bharti Airtel Sanjay Kapoor said that, based on the calculation and other realities, the figure and facts suggest tariff can go up as high as 100 percent of the existing rate and this increase will vary from circle to circle.
COAI has said that pan-India average of this increase will range between 25 to 30 percent on recommended spectrum price and spectrum refarming by Trai.
Trai has suggested a base price of Rs 3,622 crore for one megahertz (MHz) for pan-India spectrum. This is around 10 times higher than the price at which 2G licences bundled with 4.4 MHz spectrum were allocated in 2008 under the then Telecom Minister A Raja.
As part of spectrum auction recommendations, Trai has proposed roadmap for spectrum refarming under which existing player will be made to use high frequency of 1800 Mhz band compared to the low frequency band of 900 Mhz.
Telecom signals emitted using 900 Mhz frequency band cover large area compared to 1800 Mhz band. These proposals, if approved, will hit business of incumbent operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular.
Vodafone has said refarming will put additional cost burden of Rs 10,000 crore on the company for network roll out and Idea Cellular has earlier said that it will have to write-off around Rs 17,000 crore.
First Published: Friday, May 04, 2012, 21:10