EGoM on telecom may meet on June 20 to decide spectrum auction price

Telecom Lead India: The Empowered Group of Ministers on
telecom, headed by the Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, is likely to meet on
June 20 to decide on spectrum auction related issues.

In this meeting, the EGoM is expected to take a final
call on minimum price at which spectrum auction should begin, PTI reported.

This meeting is crucial to finalise all spectrum auction
details before Mukherjee resigns,” sources said.

Issues have to be sorted this month so as to meet Supreme
Court set deadline of August 31 to complete spectrum auction.

Mukherjee would resign before he files nomination for the
post of President after the return of the Prime Minister from his foreign trip
on June 23.

TRAI, following a consultation process with industry,
recommended the base price of Rs 3,622 for a megahertz of airwaves frequencies
to be auctioned and over Rs 18,000 crore price for pan-India operations.

This is around 10 times higher than what companies paid
in 2008 when A Raja was the Telecom Minister.

In the last EGoM meet held on June 5 the EGoM has firmed
up the schedule for the auction of 10 Mhz of airwaves in 8 slots of 1.25 Mhz
each in the frequency band which is currently used for 2G GSM services.

The EGoM also finalized the auction 3.75 Mhz of airwaves
in the frequency band currently used for CDMA services.

The airwaves are crucial for telecom services as they are
used to transmit signal for mobile telephony and industry feels that high
spectrum price will increase the tariff of telecom services in the range of 30
to 100 percent.

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