DoT announces third round of 2G GSM auction

DoT announces third round of 2G GSM auction New Delhi: Government will hold the third round of 2G GSM spectrum auction for the airwaves that were freed following cancellation of telecom licences by Supreme Court in February last year and were not put for auction.

Date and other details of the auction will be notified separately, it said.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) in a late evening announcement on Wednesday said that following last week's Supreme Court order it has "decided that a separate auction will be held for the balance of Spectrum in 1800 MHz band in compliance with the direction of the Supreme Court in its order dated 15-2-2013."

The apex court in its last week order directed the government to auction the entire spectrum that was vacated by 122 2G telecom licences after the court ordered their cancellation on February 2, 2012.

Though 514.8 Mhz of spectrum was freed up as a result of the cancellation of licences, the government put up only 271.25 Mhz of spectrum for auction in November 2012.

"Details are being worked out and a separate NIA (notice inviting application) in this regard will be issued shortly," DoT said.

DoT was earlier considering increasing the quantum of spectrum in Karnataka and Rajasthan circles for which auction is scheduled to start from March 11, but did not do so.

The government has announced auction of 10 MHz each in Karnataka and Rajasthan, though 22 Mhz and 17.6 Mhz respectively of spectrum in these circles were freed due to cancellation of licences.

The quantum of GSM spectrum kept for auction in Delhi, Mumbai and CDMA band is already in compliance with the Supreme Court order.

The government has announced it will auction 15 MHz of radio waves each in Delhi and Mumbai in the 1800 Mhz band, currently used for 2G GSM services, as against 4.4 Mhz and 13.2 Mhz respectively released in these circles through quashed permits.

PTI