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Telcos to pay more for 2G spectrum

Telcos to pay more for 2G spectrum
Highlights

Telcos To Pay More For 2G Spectrum. Incumbent telecom operators, who wish to provide latest services using any technology in 2G spectrum, may have to...

New Delhi: Incumbent telecom operators, who wish to provide latest services using any technology in 2G spectrum, may have to pay a premium over the last determined market price of the airwaves, sources said.

The inter-ministerial panel telecom commission has accepted sector regulator Trai’s recommendation to charge a premium based on the prime lending rate (PLR) offered by State Bank of India in case the market determined price is more than one-year-old, sources added.
The country’s largest bank State Bank of India had last month raised its PLR from 14.45 per cent to 14.55 per cent per annum. This means, any existing operator wishing to liberalise spectrum in 2014 would have to pay 14.55 per cent more.
According to sources, TC said: “Trai’s recommendations on SBI PLR indexation (on operators wanting to liberalise spectrum) may be accepted.” SBI PLR indexation was also used by Trai for arriving at 2G spectrum for 2012 auction base price.
Spectrum sale on Jan. 7
The third round of spectrum auction may start from January 7 as per the tentative timeline worked out by an inter-ministerial committee (IMC), which was set up by the department of telecom.
IMC had decided to complete the considerations over telecom regulator Trai’s recommendations by October 7 and make submissions to the empowered group of ministers on spectrum, headed by finance minister P. Chidambaram, by November 7. The TC completed the first round of considerations of the recommendations given by the Trai on October 3.
The next meeting of TC is scheduled for October 29 where it is expected to take final decision. The views of TC will be send to EGoM which will finally decide on modalities for auction.
The EGoM may approach cabinet for decision on reserve price for spectrum as it did for previous auctions. As per its meeting on September 20, IMC expects “receipt of Cabinet nod by November 23 and auction by January 7.”
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