DoT to conduct third round of 2G GSM spectrum auction soon

DoT to conduct third round of 2G GSM spectrum auction soon New Delhi: The government will conduct the third round of 2G GSM spectrum auction immediately after the bidding for radiowaves ends in March in compliance with last week's Supreme Court order.

In the forthcoming auction, the government will put up the spectrum that was left unsold in the November round of bidding. Once that is over, the government will start auction of the radiowaves that were freed up after the cancellation of telecom licences last year but were not put on auction in the last round.

"We will put all the spectrum in the 18 circles which was not auctioned in November for auction immediately after this (March auction) is done," Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar said here.

The Supreme Court has ordered the auction of entire spectrum that was vacated by 122 2G telecom licences that court had cancelled on February 2, 2012.

As a result of the cancellation of licences, 514.8 Mhz of spectrum was freed up, but the government only kept 271.25 Mhz of spectrum for auction in November 2012.

Last week, on February 15, the apex court directed the government to auction "entire spectrum released as a result of quashing of the licences on 2.2.2012...Without further delay".

Chandrashekhar said that Department of Telecom (DoT) is considering to increase the quantum of spectrum in Karnataka and Rajasthan cirlces for which auction is scheduled to start from March 11 to comply with apex court order.

The government has announced auction of 10 MHz each in Karnataka and Rajasthan, but spectrum freed from cancellation of licences in these circles was 22 Mhz and 17.6 Mhz.

"As far as Delhi and Mumbai are concerned, the quantum of spectrum is already compliant with the Supreme Court order of February 15," Chandrashekhar said.

He said all spectrum that was released by cancellation of CDMA licences (800 MHz band) has been already up for auction.

The government has announced that it will auction 15 MHz of radiowaves each in Delhi and Mumbai in the 1800 Mhz band, currently used for 2G GSM services, whereas 4.4 Mhz and 13.2 Mhz was released through quashed permits respectively.

The Telecom Secretary said that apart from increase in quantum of spectrum, there is no change expected in March auction.

PTI