Spectrum auction process to begin on Aug 6
New Delhi: An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) today decided to initiate auction of spectrum, freed from cancellation of 2G licences by the Supreme Court, from August 6. It was, however, not immediately known if the EGoM headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, also fixed a reserve price of airwaves.
"Some decisions have been taken. We will let you know," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters after the meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) here. Sources, however, said the EGoM has firmed up the schedule for the auction as well as the quantum of spectrum to be put up for bidding. The next meeting of the EGoM has been tentatively slated to be held after June 20, they said.
They also added that the procedure for selecting the auctioneer has also been approved and that the Information Memorandum will be issued on August 6, thus starting the bidding process. The apex court had asked the government to auction the spectrum by August 31. The Telecom Commission has recommended that at least eight slots in block of 1.25 Mhz spectrum, amounting to 10 Mhz should be offered in the auction which is likely to begin sometime next month, they said.
However, EGoM did not decide on if the winners of auction will have to make upfront payment or in installments. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which was expected to make a presentation to the panel on the impact of its suggested pricing of spectrum on mobile phone tariffs, did not make any presentation to the EGoM. The EGoM is learnt to have agreed to the view of Telecom Commission to auction all spectrum vacated by the licence cancellation of players offering CDMA services.