TRAI to share spectrum price recommendation by mid-January

TRAI Chairman RS Sharma in India
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday said it will come out with the recommendations on the reserve prices for spectrum by middle of January.

Participating in an open house discussion on Monday regarding the reserve price of spectrum for the next round of auctioning, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman R.S.Sharma said their recommendation on the reserve price can be expected by the middle of the month.

He said that the meeting with the industry stakeholders was productive.

The department of telecommunication (DoT) had sought the recommendation, and industry stakeholders need to post their comments on the open house discussion by January 7.

The TRAI has initiated the process to firm up reserve prices for the 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 and 2500 MHz spectrum bands which provide 2G, 3G and 4G telecom services.

The consultation paper floated by TRAI touched on key issues like quantum of spectrum to be auctioned, spectrum cap, spectrum block size, roll-out obligations, and methods to be used for valuation and estimation of reserve price.

Telecom network operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone India, Reliance Communications, Aircel, Telenor, BSNL and MTNL have already submitted their suggestions on spectrum price.

The mobilization of funds via spectrum auction is an important step for the India government to meet its financial obligations. The next round of spectrum auction is expected before March 31, 2016.

Idea Cellular on spectrum price

Idea Cellular, in its recommendation to TRAI, said it was disappointed to note that the DoT only proposes to auction 37.5 MHz out of the total 76.25 MHz available spectrum in 800 MHz band. It wanted 800 MHz spectrum in at least 5 MHz or more. Further, an operator should be allowed to bid for less than 5 MHz only.

Idea Cellular asked the harmonization of 1800 MHz band before the start of auction.

The 2100 MHz spectrum allocated to erstwhile STEL, should be included in total quantity available for auction in 2100 MHz, said Idea Cellular.

Idea Cellular said there is no rationale for considering the price discovered in the last spectrum auction as the value of spectrum for all spectrum bands and each band has to be seen individually as explained in detail later.

For 800 MHz, value of spectrum should be considered at last auction discovered price. For 900 MHz, value of spectrum should be considered at lower of [50 percent] of last auction discovered price for 900 MHz or equal to 1800 MHz.

Baburajan K
[email protected]

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