Panel Decided To Auction 10 MHz, Indecisive On Pricing

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The Empowered Group of Ministers has decided to auction a minimum 10 MHZ megahertz of 2G spectrum but was did not arrive at a conclusive decision on spectrum pricing and auction.

Panel Decided To Auction 10 MHz Indecisive On Pricing

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was to submit its recommendations on the impact spectrum pricing to the EGoM last week. However, the regulator did not submit its report.

The panel of ministers decided to sell up to 13.75 MHz of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band in the upcoming auctions, enabling the possibility of two mobile phone companies winning back their cancelled permits.

The nine-member empowered Group of Ministers (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 to complete the sale process as mandated early by the Supreme Court.The EGOM also said that the airwaves allotted in this auction will be technology neutral, meaning that the operator can decide provide services of its choice  either 2G, 3G or 4G services on these frequencies.

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.

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