India government to discuss spectrum base price at the next EGoM meet

Telecom Lead India: An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee, will discuss the base price of spectrum, to be
auctioned to operators, in its next meet, an official said today.

“Spectrum pricing will come at the next EGoM,” said Financial
Services Secretary D K Mittal.

He did not disclose the timing of the meeting. The high-powered panel is
expected to meet later this month.

The EGoM in its previous meeting had finalized timeframe for auction of
spectrum, including schedule and quantum of airwaves to be sold.

It, however, put off decision on pricing of spectrum for auction.

In February, the Supreme Court court had asked the government to auction the
spectrum by August 31.

While the process will be initiated from August 6 with the issuance of
Information Memorandum, other matters like pricing and roll out obligations are
yet to be finalized by the high-powered panel.

TRAI has recommended a base price of Rs 3,622 crore per megahertz (MHz)
pan-India spectrum for 1800 Mhz band (being used for GSM service), which is
almost 10 times higher than the price at which 2G licences bundled with 4.4 MHz
spectrum were allocated in 2008 by then Telecom Minister A Raja.has

The telecom industry has criticized steep minimum price, saying it will raise
the tariff of telecom services in the range of 30 to 100 per cent, according to
agency reports.

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