In a major decision that might bring cheers to the new players, the Telecom Commission on Thursday suggested to offer 10 MHz of spectrum in each circle should be auctioned against Trai's proposal for 5 MHz.
The Commission however could not take any decision on the controversial TRAI recommendations on reserve price for auction. The regulator had proposed Rs 18,000 crore for 5 Mhz chunk of spectrum, but a DoT committee further suggested an increase of 17 per cent. The inter ministerial panel deferred the decision for Saturday. The issue will be dealt with separately.
Apart from this, the existing players can participate in auction for a maximum of two blocks of 1.25 MHz each, giving the incumbents total spectrum of 5 MHz. Those opting for CDMA technology will have to bid for 2.5 MHz of spectrum.
The Commission which met to study and analyse the impact of the TRAI recommendations was also of the view that spectrum should be liberalized in future as it will allow operators to use spectrum for any kind of services.
The Commission also stressed on easing out of roll out obligations in rural areas. It suggested that existing rural rollout obligations should be maintained instead of getting multiple operators to reach every village with a population of 2,000 or more.
The Cabinet in its Thursday meeting did not discuss the New Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012. The new policy is which is likely to be unveiled soon aims to make the country’s telecommunications sector more transparent, relax merger and acquisition norms to encourage consolidation and also give more teeth to sector regulator and de-link spectrum from licences.