Caps on number of bids removed for upcoming auction

Caps on number of bids removed for upcoming auction New Delhi: A high-powered ministerial panel Friday removed cap on the number of slots that a company is allowed to bid in the upcoming spectrum auction, a development that is expected to attract aggressive bidding.

There is no cap other than policy restriction of 25 percent and 50 percent of the spectrum, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

According to the notice inviting application (NIA) issued by DoT, a company cannot bid for more than 25 percent of total spectrum on offer. Also no firm can bid for more than 50 percent of the spectrum being offered in a particular band.

In the last auction held in November, new operators were to bid for a minimum of four blocks of 1.25 MHz each and a maximum of five for GSM spectrum. It was a minimum of two and a maximum of three in case of CDMA airwaves.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) was of the view that auction would witness aggressive bidding if restrictions on the number slot is removed.

"The whole agenda (of NIA) has been approved and we are now going ahead with the auction as proposed," Sibal said.

The government will put on auction unsold spectrum in 900 Mhz band, 1800 Mhz band, which are currently being used in GSM band and 800 Mhz band (cdma).

The DoT has issued the guidelines for the auction process which is expected to fetch around Rs 45,000 crore to exchequer from airwaves sale.

Government had slashed base price of CDMA spectrum by 50 percent and for unsold GSM spectrum by 30 percent. The price of spectrum in 900 Mhz has been fixed at two times the price of airwaves in 1800 Mhz.

PTI