Even after more than five years spent on formulating the policy guidelines for 3G services, there is still no end in sight for the same as even now the Defence forces and the DoT are yet to resolve the spectrum vacation issue.
The revised Information Memorandum issued by DoT has thrown in new issues between the two ministries who are already in loggerheads with each other over spectrum vacation.
The Defence Forces have alleged that the DoT’s IM does not shows spectrum which is already released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and in some circles shows availability of spectrum when in reality the spectrum is yet to be released by the MoD.
Even on Monday the Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee met the Ministers of the two departments, A Raja and A K Antony to resolve the stalemate. Others to join the meeting included Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, Sam Pitroda who is serving as an advisor on this issue.
On November 16, when the DoT held a pre-bid conference it was confronted with questions from industry players on the issue of clarity pertaining to availability of spectrum. An unprepared DoT was forced to say that it will be in a position to provide more details in the next meet which is expected to be held in early December.
A second round of meeting between the concerned ministries and Sam Pitroda is scheduled for today.
The lack of clarity needs to be resolved before the spectrum auctioning because it will directly affect the price bids of interested players. For instance circles where number of slots for auctioning are low will witness aggressive bidding from the players. For such successful bidders it will be unfair if later on spectrum is made available in the circle and then auctioned at a comparatively lower price.