The cabinet is likely to take a call on the base price for the auction of the 2G spectrum on Thursday. .
Last month, the empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom headed by the Home minister P Chidambaram y decided that the final decision on reserve price, spectrum usage charge and terms of payment will be taken by the Cabinet.
The panel on Wednesday had asked the department of telecommunications (DoT) to work out a matrix, if the reserve price is brought down, how much spectrum fee should increase so that the government revenue remains same.
The EGoM has suggested a base price between Rs 14,111 - Rs 15,111 crore for 5 Mhz of airwaves in auction. The mobile phone companies were demanding an 80% reduction from the Rs 18,111 crore proposed by Trai.
The panel of ministers is also learnt to given two options to the Cabinet on the spectrum usage charge, which forms part of the revenue share for mobile phone companies. The first option is to keep this levy at 5% of the telco''s annual revenues, or calculate this levy as per the current rules.
New entrants and companies that lost their mobile permits due to the Supreme Court can bid for a maximum of 6.25 MHz of airwaves in the 1800 MHz band in the upcoming auctions, while existing operators or incumbents, in the GSM space can bid for a maximum of 2 blocks or 2.5 MHz of airwaves.
TRAI has recommended a reserve price of Rs 18000 crore for 5 Mhz of spectrum in 1800 MHz band. The communications ministry wants to reduce it to Rs 12,000 cr. This is the reason that the EGOM today asked the Dot to do the new exercise so that it can build a case for reducing reserve price.