Telecom Commission calls for study on auction base price

28 May 2012

India’s Telecom Commission, the highest decision-making body within the country’s telecoms ministry, is to ask the sector regulator to conduct a detailed study on the base price for a proposed airwaves auction, reports Reuters. The move comes in wake of criticism from operators that the high base price and limited number of spectrum slots proposed by the regulator will cost billions of dollars, forcing them to increase tariffs for customers. Telenor and Sistema have threatened to pull out of India if the auction goes ahead with the proposed rules.

Meanwhile, in a separate but related story, the Telecom Commission has agreed to a separate set of proposals from the regulator to conduct an ‘airwave re-farming’ auction that could see older cellcos such as Bharti and Vodafone made to switch their spectrum from 900MHz to 1800MHz, or pay a higher price to continue using spectrum in the 900MHz band.