Spectrum sale: Cabinet to decide CDMA price cut

Spectrum sale: Cabinet to decide CDMA price cut Zeebiz Bureau

New Delhi: A high powered ministerial panel, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, is likely to finalise the schedule for second round of spectrum auction on Monday.

At the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) meeting held in the capital, sources claim that the Cabinet will decide on the 800 MHz CDMA band price cut..

Sources said the high-powered panel in its last meeting on January 3, deliberated on the spectrum sale in 1800/900 MHz bands but did not finalised a date for the start of auction process.

The EGoM deliberated on the design of auction, quantum of spectrum, services area where GSM spectrum in 1800 and 900 MHz spectrum will be auctioned but could not discuss measures for CDMA (800 MHz) spectrum which had not attracted any bidders in the November, 2012 auction.

"The auction will take place during this fiscal but it does not seem possible by January 18," a source said.

Sources, however, added that auction is likely to start from March 11 for unsold spectrum in 1800 MHz and airwaves in 900 MHz band held by telecom companies whose licences are coming up for renewal in 2014.

Telecom companies, whose licences have been cancelled by the Supreme Court order, are allowed to continue their services after January 18, 2013 only if they have won spectrum in the recent auction.

As per the apex court order, 21 licences of Sistema Shyam Teleservices (MTS), 16 permits of Telenor controlled Uninor, 15 of Videocon and 3 CDMA permits of Tata Teleservices will stand cancelled from January 18. Telenor is in the process of transferring the business of Uninor in six circles under new entity Telewings Communications, which recently won spectrum.

The government is learnt to be preparing fresh plans to auction the radiowaves that can fetch around Rs 39,895 crore.

As per the proposal, the government could get around Rs 25,316 crore from the auction in the premium 900 MHz band, and Rs 14,579 crore from auction of unsold spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.


With PTI Inputs