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TRAI to give recommendations on 3G spectrum by January

TRAI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is expected to submit its suggestions for the base price and valuation for 3G airwaves by January next year as the government as scheduled the next spectrum auction for February, 2015. As reported by PTI, a TRAI official has stated that, there is an open house discussion on December 22 on the issue, and the recommendations can be out during the first two weeks of January or earlier.

The regulator has also given out a consultation paper on valuation and reserve price of the spectrum in the 2,100 MHz band which is used for delivering 3G services in the country on 2, December. Earlier, DoT has asked TRAI for its recommendations on the reserve price spectrum in 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands. Moreover, DoT had also asked TRAI to accelerate the process of 2,100 MHz band pricing.

The regulator has decided first to submit its recommendations on 2,100 MHz band and later on 2,300 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands. Both the regulator and the telecom operators believe that the auction should only take place, when the adequate spectrum is available. Along with this, consecutive bidding should also be held for both 3G and 2G.

DoT is also in the process of consultation with the Defence Ministry for the vacation of spectrum in the 2,100 MHz band. As per an early agreement between the Defence Ministry and DoT, the Defence released 20 MHz out of 25 MHz in 2100 MHz band allocated to Department of Telecom as per the pan-India agreement with Defence on basis and one more block of 5 MHz in 5 circles. This spectrum was auctioned in 2010 by the government. Now, as per the agreement, the leftover spectrum is to be vacated only if the alternate communication network is completed.

The next spectrum auctions are scheduled to be held on February next year, and the government has estimated the revenue generation of Rs 9,355 crore from the sale of airwaves.

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