India releases details on 2100 MHz band spectrum for the March 2015 auctions

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india-telecom2014The Narendra Modi government has issued details for auctioning 5 Mhz of the 2100 MHz spectrum across 17 out of 22 service areas at a pan-India base price of Rs 3,705 crore per megahertz for the auctions scheduled for March 4, 2015.

"Amendment No.2 (including details of 2100 MHz band) to Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for Auction of Spectrum in 2100MHz, 1800MHz, 900MHz and 800MHz bands has been issued by the Department of Telecommunications on 29-01-2015," telecom ministry said in a statement.

"The timelines of Auction were revised vide Amendment No.1 to NIA, which was released on 27-01-2015. As per the revised timelines, last date for submission of Applications is 16th February 2015 and Auction is scheduled to commence on 04th March 2015," it said.

In the latest amendment to notice inviting application for spectrum auction set to start from March 4, the DoT has said only one entity will be able to win 3G spectrum in one service area.

One block of 5 MHz has been put for auction in all service areas except Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab. This amounts to a total of 85 MHz from which government estimates to garner Rs 17,555 crores. of this a sum of Rs 5,793 crore is expected to be realised in the current fiscal.

"The Spectrum has been put on offer in 17 Service Areas (SAs) in 2100 MHz band, Block size is 5MHz in 2100 MHz band Validity of Spectrum in this auction shall be 20 years," it added.

Also read: Mobile tariff to go up significantly after next spectrum auction?

"The auction in the 2100MHz band would be conducted in the format of simultaneous, multiple-round ascending auction along with 1800MHz, 900MHz and 800MHz bands," according to the Telecom ministry.

It further said that the total spectrum put to auction is 85 MHz in 2100MHz bands, 103.75 MHz in 800 MHz band, 177.8 MHz in 900 MHz band and 99.2 MHz in 1800 MHz band. The 3G spectrum will not be available in the Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab circles. Consequently, a total of 85 MHz of 3G spectrum is being put up for auction.

With the defence forces still to vacate the 15 MHz spectrum held by them in this band, the quantum of spectrum in 2100 Mhz band (3G) being put for auction is 75% less than the quantum recommended by telecom regulator TRAI and demanded by industry.

Going ahead, the interested telecom companies are required to submit their application to participate in the auction by February 16, 2015.

Lastly, telecom companies can approach Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to seek further clarifications by February 2, 2015.

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