The forthcoming spectrum auctions will not see participation of state run telecom operators BSNL and MTNL. The telcos didn't participate in the previous November 2012, March 2013 and February 2014 spectrum auctions as well.
The government is gearing up for the next round of spectrum auction from which it expects to fetch around Rs. 1 lakh crore. The government will be putting up 103.75MHz in 800MHz band in all service areas, 177.8MHz in 17 service areas in 900MHz band and 99.2MHz in 15 service areas in 1800MHz band for auctions.
The quantum of spectrum in 2100 Mhz band, for 3G network, 5Mhz in 17 circles will be available for auction.
The spectrum auctions have come under heavy criticism over high reserve prices. Industry bodies such as COAI and GSMA have warned the government that the upcoming auctions may turn out to be a dull affair due to steep base prices.
GSMA recently said high reserve price “risks further distorting the outcome of the auction to the disadvantage of India’s citizens”.
“The GSMA is concerned by the action of the Telecom Commission to increase reserve prices for India’s 2100MHz spectrum auction next month – almost 36 per cent higher than those recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Moreover, the proposal by the Government to only put 2x5MHz of spectrum in the 2100MHz band up for auction, versus GSMA and TRAI recommendations to auction at least 2x20MHz of the band, risks further distorting the outcome of the auction to the disadvantage of India’s citizens,” Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA had said.