Telcos can bid for new bands: Telecom Secy

Telcos can bid for new bands: Telecom Secy New Delhi: Existing telecom players bidding in bands where they don't hold spectrum will be treated as new entrants in airwave auction slated for November.

"They (existing players) would be allowed to bid in bands in which they currently do not hold spectrum and for that purpose they would be treated as new entrants," Telecom Commission Chairman and Secretary Department of Telecom R Chandrashekhar told reporters here.

If an operator has spectrum in one band but wants to bid in another band where it doesn't have spectrum, it would be treated as new entrant and has to bid for the minimum number of slots which a new entrant is required to bid.

A new player has to bid for a minimum of four blocks of spectrum in 1800 Mhz band or two blocks in 800 Mhz band in each service area.

The Telecom Commission, which met Friday finalised the terms and conditions about entry fee, net worth and equity requirements, matters relating to performance bank guarantee and financial bank guarantee for the Unified Licence (UL) that are to be issued to players that win spectrum in the auction.

The complete guidelines for the UL will be completed within three months.

Issues related to migration of licences of existing players and bringing telecom tower companies under the licencing regime will also be decided.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has proposed to bring telecom tower companies under the licensing regime and estimated that bringing IP-I (mainly telecom tower firms) under the licensing regime will fetch the government revenues of around Rs 1,900 crore per year.

"The complete UL guidelines including the migration rules and all other details should be finanlised at the earliest, preferably within three months so that the final comprehensive licencing regime is also known and available to the bidders who participate in the auction," Chandrashekhar said.

He added at the same time, an indication would be given to operators as to the scope of the UL even though the full terms and conditions may not be available right now, so that bidders would have an idea of what the UL will contain.

PTI