Telecom Commission for upping spectrum base price

Telecom-CommissionNew Delhi, Nov 6 : The Telecom Commission Wednesday recommended raising the reserve price for mobile phone spectrum auctions by 15 percent more than the price suggested by the Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) in the 1,800 megahertz (MHz) and by 25 percent in the 900 MHz.

The panel has approved the merger and acquisition policy and a senior government official said the merger entity may hold up to 50 percent of market share in each circle. The policy now needs cabinet approval.

The Telecom Commission is the highest decision making agency of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The next mobile phone spectrum auction is expected in January next year and it is estimated to mop up Rs. 11,000 crore ($1.8 billion) revenue from the sale.

Rajan Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India, told IANS that the decision was "disappointing for the industry".

“The differentiation of prices will lead to robust bidding for the spectrum less priced. It is a bit of mixed bag. However, still I expect operators to bid for 1,800 MHz,” he said.

The panel also decided to auction 800 MHz band.

“Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd. (SSTL) welcomes the decision of the Telecom Commission to auction the 800 Mhz spectrum band,” a company spokesperson said.

Earlier, the company said TRAI's regulation on 800 MHz band is blocking the company's growth in the country.(IANS)