Telcos like Airtel, Vodafone to contest Trai recommendations on auction pricing

Indian telecom operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone are apparently unhappy with Trai’s recommendations on spectrum auctions, and they are now preparing to approach the telecom department (DoT) to contest the regulator’s recommendations, particularly the pricing of the 700 Mhz band spectrum.


Trai recently recommended a record high base price of Rs 11,485 crore per Mhz for 700 Mhz spectrum band. The cost of delivering mobile services in 700 Mhz band is around 70% lower than 2100 Mhz band, which is widely used for 3G services.
Spectrum in the 700MHz band is generally coveted by service providers. The band is considered as ideal for providing in-building and wide-area coverage with substantially lower capital expenditure.

COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews told PTI that the body will write to the telecom department by the end of next week for deferring auction of 700 Mhz band and on possible errors in calculation of price of 700 Mhz band spectrum. He added that the regulator has fixed priced based on formula given 2012.

The report said that if all the available frequencies get sold at Trai suggested price then it alone will yield a whopping Rs 4 lakh crore to the Indian government.

Indian telecom carriers had earlier requested the regulator to defer sale of 700 MHz spectrum, saying that ecosystem for providing services in this band was not developed and sale would lead to under-utilisation of the spectrum for several years.
Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, India and South Asia at Bharti Airtel recently told analysts that the reserve price for 700 MHz is too expensive, and the telco cannot afford to buy at that price.

Vodafone Chief Operating Officer Naveen Chopra, in an interview with ET, termed terming the sector regulator’s 700 Mhz base price recommendations as overpriced. However he didn’t say the telco won’t bid at these prices.

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7 Comments on "Telcos like Airtel, Vodafone to contest Trai recommendations on auction pricing"


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February 6, 2016 12:45 pm 12:45 PM
Vodafone will have to buy 700mhz anyhow! Airtel has almost pan india 2g-3g-4g n is soon buying aircel 4g spectrum.. Jio has pan-india 4g at 850mhz/1800mhz and 2300mhz and will soon have pan-india 3g with rcom n bsnl. Also rcom and aircel are merging. Rcom has 850mhz pan india band and now also has mts 850mhz spectrum. Plus its in tie up wid jio. Tata also has pan india 850mhz license n is thinking of enterprise solutions though they are still as weak as Idea’s position currently. Bsnl is also in a very strong position. Idea is out of competition.… Read more »
February 6, 2016 3:43 pm 3:43 PM

for your information aircel is already merged with rcom

February 6, 2016 4:26 pm 4:26 PM

Nope still not merged. Only intra-circle roaming agreement of rcom with aircel n tata. But rcom n aircel will merge soon this year itself. Rcom will be owning Aircel then.

Sunny Chennai
February 6, 2016 5:10 pm 5:10 PM

Reliance is not even able to streamline and manage their own GSM and CDMA business, then for what nonsense they are planning to buy other telecom companies.
As per today’s Times of India update they are going to sell their cement business, toll road business, etc to decrease the company’s debt. So Anil Ambani will be announced as a defaulter as same as Vijay Mallaya.

February 6, 2016 1:22 pm 1:22 PM

Nice dream, keep dreaming.
Vodafone shut down? What you thought vodafone is your uncles company ? Think twice before posting a comment.

Sutripta Roy
February 6, 2016 9:11 pm 9:11 PM

@sudhakar : In Kolkata where Vodafone has the maximum user base than other users is providing lowest 3G speed!!! Airtel, Idea, Reliance all have rocking speed on 3G… only Aircel and Vodafone has the almost same speed… but this is right that Vodafone has the vast 3G coverage like Airtel… but according to speed they are behind.

Madhan Kumar
February 6, 2016 3:57 pm 3:57 PM

@Sudhakar:Whatever Fradafone is a big fraud who wantedly will cancel MNP request without any reason & also will force unwilling customers to take up their shitty postpaid connection so Fradafone really deserves a kick out of our India.I heard atleast FraudTel doesn’t do such cheap things but at the same time I hate FraudTel too because of tons and tons of reasons.