SSTL back on the ropes as March auction falters

26 Feb 2013

A second attempt to auction off India’s wireless spectrum has fallen at the first hurdle, with a sole operator applying to participate in the sale. Business Line writes that Russia’s Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL) was the only operator to register to take part in the auction by the deadline yesterday. Industry lobby group the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) reiterated its stance that, despite reducing the base price of spectrum since the November auction, the cost was still too high: ‘We have been saying all along that the pricing for 1800MHz is too high. The entire re-farming of 900MHz is fraught with legal issues, so who wants to buy?’ As previously noted by CommsUpdate, SSTL was obliged to participate in the auction to keep providing services, after the Supreme Court rejected its appeal against the cancellation of its licences.