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Jul 09, 2013, 02.24 PM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

TRAI unlikely to revisit spectrum refarming plan: Sources

CNBC-TV18 learns from TRAI sources that the regulator may recommend a lower reserve price, but a final decision will taken after consultations.

TRAI unlikely to revisit spectrum refarming plan: Sources

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is unlikely to revisit spectrum refarming plan. A high powered ministerial panel had sought telecom regulator's opinion on the start or reserve price to be set for forthcoming spectrum auction.

CNBC-TV18 learns from TRAI sources that the regulator may recommend a lower reserve price, but a final decision will taken after consultations.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is required to conduct third round of spectrum auction in 20 out of 22 service areas to comply with the Supreme Court order of February 15, 2013. However, telecom companies stayed away from the spectrum auction conducted in March.

The key issue was the price for spectrum in premium 900 megahertz, which was is fixed at two times higher than that for 1800 Mhz as per recommendation of TRAI. This band is said to provide almost double signal coverage than by signals transmitted in 1800 Mhz band.

Earlier this year, the Cabinet had approved reduction of 30 percent reserve price for GSM spectrum (1800 Mhz band) fixed for November 2012 auction. The final reserve price for unsold airwaves in Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka and Rajasthan cumulatively amounted to Rs 11,876 crore.

TRAI sources say it is difficult to revisit refarming recommendations at this stage. However, it may get reference on reserve price in two-three days.

TRAI is likely to make recommendations on reserve price by middle of September. Sources say it intends to conduct the spectrum auction by October.

Also Read: Why TRAI is utterly wrong about cross-media ownership

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