Empowered Group of Ministers Might Meet on June 20 To Decide On Spectrum

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Empowered Group of Ministers Might Meet on June 20 To Decide On SpectrumThe Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom, headed by Finance Minister, may is likely to meet on June 20 to decide on the 2G reserve price and policy for auctioning spectrum.

All issues related to 2G issued have to finalized this month and spectrum auction to be completed before the August 31 deadline set by India’s Supreme Court.

Earlier this month, the EGoM had decided to auction a minimum 10 MHZ megahertz spectrum, but stopped short of taking a decision on the controversial proposal to redistribute the 900 MHz spectrum. The panel also did not arrive at a conclusive decision on spectrum pricing and auction.

The Empowered Group of Ministers had decided to sell up to 13.75 MHz of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band in the upcoming auctions, which enables the possibility of at least two operators winning back their cancelled permits. The government can garner a minimum of Rs 49,800 crore if 13.75 MHz spectrum are sold at TRAI recommended prices.

However, the controversial proposal to refarm or redistribute the 900 MHz spectrum of existing operators was not discussed. These airwaves are primarily held by Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, and are considered ideal for operating second-generation, or 2G,networks. The EGoM is slated to meet again this month to finalise the minimum price for spectrum.

The nine-member EGoM did not take any decision on the reserve price for spectrum to be sold in the auctions, but would stick to the August 31 deadline as mandated early by the Supreme Court.

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