Telecom operators file applications to bid for spectrum

DoT is conducting auction of airwaves frequencies after apex Court cancelled 122 telecom licences in 2G scam.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: October 20, 2012 1:42:12 am

Telecom operators,including Bharti Airtel,Vodafone,Idea Cellular,Telenor and Tata Teleservices (TTSL) today submitted applications for participating in spectrum auction starting November 12.

Sources at the Department of Telecommunications confirmed that Bharti Airtel has submitted application to bid for airwaves frequencies at pan-India level.

Sources at Bharti Airtel,Idea and Vodafone also confirmed that companies have filed applications but did not disclose details of the application like number of telecom circles in which they will bid for airwaves frequencies and the spectrum band in which they will bid.

DoT is conducting auction of airwaves frequencies in 1800 Mhz,being used for GSM services at present,and 800 Mhz band,being used for CDMA services,after Supreme Court cancelled 122 telecom licences belonging to eight different companies in 2G scam.

DoT sources confirmed that Videocon and Telenor,whose Indian joint venture Uninor lost licence has also submitted application but no immediate comments could be obtained from the company.

The cancelled licences included 22 permits of Uninor (joint venture between Unitech Wireless and Norwegian firm Telenor),Loop 21,Sistema-Shyam (SSTL) 21,Etisalat-DB 15,S Tel 6,Videocon 21,Idea 9 and three licences of TTSL. Official sources confirmed that TTSL submitted application to bid in three telecom circles where it lost its CDMA permits.

Status of application from SSTL,which runs services under MTS brand,could not be ascertained.

The apex court has asked government to complete spectrum by January 11,2013 and warned that failure to meet the deadline would invite “contempt” action against erring officials with “exemplary” cost.

Government will auction maximum of 11 blocks of spectrum in 1800 Mhz band,being used for GSM services,each having 1.25 Mhz of airwaves frequencies.

New players and companies whose licences were cancelled by Supreme Court in 2G scam will have to bid for minimum of four spectrum blocks in a service area to start their services.

Cabinet has fixed Rs 14,000 crore for 4 blocks of pan- India spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band.

Existing players,or companies whose licences were unaffected by the apex court judgement will be allowed to bid maximum of 2 blocks in 1800 Mhz band.

In case of 800 Mhz band,which is being used for CDMA services,there is shortage of spectrum and the government will auction 3 blocks 1.25 MHz each in 19 telecom circles. In Punjab and Andhra Pradesh circles,the government will auction only two blocks.

There will be no auction for spectrum in 800 Mhz in Rajasthan circle.

The auction for spectrum in this band will start two days after results of 1800 Mhz band are declared.

Spectrum in 800 Mhz band has been priced 1.3 times to that of airwaves frequencies in 1800 Mhz band.

Each pan-India block of 1800 Mhz band will cost minimum of Rs 3,500 crore and each block of 800 Mhz band will cost Rs 4,550 crore.

The government has set target to get Rs 40,000 crore revenue from the airwaves in this fiscal.

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