2nd round of spectrum auction from tomorrow, SSTL lone bidder
New Delhi: The second round of 2G spectrum auction for CDMA services will start tomorrow and it may last just an hour as Russian conglomerate Sistema's Indian unit SSTL is the only bidder.
Auction rounds are scheduled to begin between 0900 hrs and 1900 hrs Indian Standard Time on Monday, as per an official document. Government has put on block CDMA spectrum worth Rs 6,400 crore.
According to provisions, auction can extend beyond 60 minutes only if there are competing bids and tomorrow's auction could end as the shortest online sale of radiowaves in terms of time consumed.
The auction for 2G spectrum for GSM players held in November last yeat was spread across three days fetching the government Rs 9,407 crore.
The CDMA sale did not take place in November as there was no participant due to high cost.
Government has since then reduced the spectrum base price by 50 per cent but still no company, except SSTL, has shown any interest.
In 2010, spectrum auction for 3G services ended after 34 days and 183 rounds of bidding. This was followed by 16-day long auction for wireless broadband (BWA) spectrum.
Auction for 3G and BWA spectrum had fetched government over Rs 1 lakh crore.
Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL) has deposited Rs 613.75 crore for the auction, according to information disclosed by DoT. This makes the company eligible to bid for minimum quantum of 2.5 Megahertz spectrum (two blocks of 1.25 Mhz airwaves frequency) in 11 circles.
The company has already announced discontinuation of services in 10 out of 22 telecom circles - Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, North East, Orissa and Punjab.
It is a legal requirement for SSTL to get spectrum through auction if its wants to continue its operations in 21 out of 22 telecom service area where its permits were cancelled by Supreme Court in February 2012. The apex court judgement, however, has no effect on its permit to operate in Rajasthan.