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Aug 26, 2013 at 05:03pm IST

Recommendations for third round of spectrum auction soon, says TRAI

The recommendations for valuation and reserve price for the third round of spectrum auction would come "very shortly", regulator TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar said on Monday.

"The recommendations will come very shortly," said Khullar during an open house discussion on the matter here.

Asked about the timeline, he said, "You can see our track-record in the broadcasting sector," but refused to share a time-frame for the recommendations.

Recommendations for third round of spectrum auction soon, says TRAI

Recommendations for third round of spectrum auction soon, says TRAI

Insiders, however, say the recommendations are likely to come in the next 10-15 days.

"The last day to submit comments on spectrum trading is August 29 and after that it will take 10-12 days to give the recommendations," sources said.

In July, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had invited comments on the quantity of spectrum that should be kept for auction, time that winner of airwaves should be given to roll out network and the method to be used for valuation and estimation of reserve price.

Regarding the matter, the Authority conducted an open house discussion wherein all the stakeholders participated and expressed their views.

On reserve price, Loop Mobile proposed that there should be no reserve price and auction should start from zero and let the market forces determine the spectrum price.

The proposal was echoed by Idea Cellular which said the auction should be started at a lower bid and let market determine the final price. The company added that TRAI can cancel the auction if it feels that the price is not right as per the current market trends.

Operators like Vodafone and Bharti Airtel said E-GSM (extended GSM) band (800 Mhz), should be included in the upcoming auction, a move opposed by CDMA players like Tata Teleservices and Sistema Shyam.

Incumbent GSM players such as Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular opposed the proposal of refarming saying it will affect continuation of services and there will be incremental capex and opex. CDMA operators, however, asked the regulator to stick to the idea of refarming.

The government plans to refarm 900 Mhz band after the expiry of licences held by some operators in 2014.

Government is required to conduct the third round of spectrum auction to comply with a Supreme Court order that has directed it to auction entire spectrum freed from cancellation of 2G licences in February, 2012.

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