Govt expects 'significant' participation in spectrum auction

Govt expects 'significant' participation in spectrum auction New Delhi: The government is expecting "significant participation" from existing and new telecom operators in the spectrum auction scheduled to start from November 12, 2012.

"We are expecting significant participation from the new operators and some of the existing operators which require additional spectrum may also participate in the auction," Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar told reporters.

Uninor and Sistema Shyam Teleservices are yet to confirm their participation in the upcoming auction of airwaves.

Asked if the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has received any communication from the operators on their bidding interest for the auction, Chandrashekhar said they are not required to do so before the submission date.

The last date for submission of applications by operators is October 19, 2012.

The government has fixed base price of Rs 13,999.96 crore for 5 Mhz of pan-India spectrum in 1,800 Mhz band and Rs 13,649.97 crore for 3.75 Mhz of 800 Mhz spectrum.

The Supreme Court, yesterday, extended the deadline for auction of spectrum vacated from its judgement cancelling 122 permits from August 31, 2012 to January 11, 2013.

Also, the operators, whose licences were cancelled by the court in its February order, will be allowed to offer services till January 18, 2013.

The auction would start before November 12 and 1800 MHz would first be auctioned, followed by 800 MHz spectrum. The entire process may take around 40 days.

PTI