TRAI begins consultation process for fresh spectrum auction
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has started the consultation process for the next round of spectrum auction. The consultation centres around mobile operators- Airtel, Idea, Vodafone and RCom as their licenses will expire by 2015-16. As reported by PTI, the regulator released a statement, saying “The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has today released consultation paper on valuation and spectrum price: Licence expiring in 2015-16.”
Through this process will regulate the reserve price of spectrum which has to be auctioned. The spectrum includes 22 telecom service areas across the country for 900MHz and 1800MHz bands. Both these bands are used to provide GSM mobile services. TRAI further said, “The key issues in the consultation paper are contiguity of spectrum, the block size, valuation of reserve price of spectrum in 900/ 1800MHz band.” The regulator has assigned 8 September, 2014 as the last date for receiving comments on the consultation paper from the stake holders.
TRAI will also be organizing an open discussion on the same on 22 September in order to discuss the matter in detail. The regulator also suggests the 184MHz of spectrum in 900MHz band and 104MHz in the 1800MHz band can be taken up for auction. Moreover, the government is aiming to earn the revenue of Rs 9,355 crore from the upcoming spectrum auction. Licenses of many telecom operators will be up for renewal by the December next year. The list of licenses includes 4 licences of Bharti Airtel, 7 each of Idea Cellular and Reliance Telecom and 6 of Vodafone. The companies can renew their licenses by paying the fixed amount of fees. However, they need to buy the spectrum for providing mobile and other wireless services.
As reported earlier, the auction will be held in February for GSM and CDMA. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has also suggested some recommendations in this regard.