Spectrum auction knocked back, EGoM to make recommendations on price tag

12 Jul 2012

Indian watchdog the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has submitted a new timetable for the 2G spectrum auction following delays in receiving final approval of the terms for the sale. The Business Standard reports that the DoT’s new timeline was handed to the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), knocking back the start of the auction more than two weeks. Under the new timetable, the DoT will complete the selection of the auctioneer by 26 July (originally slated for 10 July), and begin the sale proper on 22 August. The Supreme Court has ruled that the auction must be completed by 31 August and has rebuffed earlier requests to extend the deadline further. In addition to the new schedule, the EGoM will hear a report from the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) tomorrow on the impact of the base price of spectrum on cellcos before passing recommendations on the controversial matter to the cabinet. The EGoM was formed to have the final say on matters relating to the spectrum auction but following the outcry from industry players, the EGoM may now only make recommendations on spectrum pricing.