TRAI recommendations transparent: Khullar

Last Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 - 21:48

New Delhi: TRAI's recommendations, including on base spectrum price, for the upcoming airwaves auction have been arrived through a transparent method, its chairman Rahul Khullar said on Monday, amid a section of the industry continuing to demand sharper cuts.

TRAI on September 9 had recommended a sharp 60 percent cut in the floor price of mobile phone spectrum for an upcoming auction after two previous sales drew lukewarm response because of high reserve price.

"I think the authority has done a fair job. They have been transparent. We have shared every possible approach that we were going to do at every stage, we have had an open house discussion and then we have finalised these recommendations," Khullar said in an interview to CNBC TV18.

TRAI had suggested a pan-India reserve price of Rs 1,496 crore per MHz in the 1800 band, down 37 percent from the base price set in the previous auction.

In the 900 MHz band, it recommended a reserve price of Rs 288 crore per MHz for Delhi, Rs 262 crore for Mumbai and Rs 100 crore for Kolkata. These rates are about 60 percent lower than the reserve price in the previous auction.

TRAI had also recommended that spectrum trading should be permitted and there should be no reservation of spectrum for renewal of licenses. It said all bidders should be treated alike and no priority should be accorded to licensees seeking renewal in the bidding process.

Also, spectrum usage charges for all airwaves allocated through auctions should be at a flat rate from April 1, 2014.

GSM industry body COAI -- which represents telecom majors like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea -- feels that the base rates could have been lower, while Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications were against price cut.

Reacting to comments made by industry players, Khullar said: "Individual parties are free to comment on them from their individual perspective but the authority can no longer entertain this as an ongoing discussion forever and ever. Our recommendations are made, it is over."


First Published: Monday, September 16, 2013 - 21:48

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