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TRAI said to have proposed high base price for 800MHz spectrum

24 Feb 2014

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reportedly recommended a reserve price of INR26.85 billion (USD433 million) per MHz for a pan-India 800MHz concession, according to India’s Economic Times. With this price being approximately 52% higher than the floor price of the recently concluded auction of 1800MHz spectrum, the country’s CDMA players have, however, been left less than impressed. The Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI), the industry body that represents the nation’s CDMA operators, was quick to slam the pricing plans, with the organisation’s secretary-general Asok Sud cited as saying: ‘Our members will meet to decide on the course of action to take. It’s a given that we will ask for the price to be lowered. We’ve been asking that the price should be 65% of [the] 1800MHz [floor price], but the TRAI has decided to go the other way.’

Meanwhile, as per the TRAI’s recommendations it has proposed that 800MHz spectrum in the metro circles of Delhi and Mumbai be priced at INR4.50 billion and INR3.52 billion, respectively (around 25% and 7.3% higher than the base price for the recent 900MHz auction). One area where lower pricing has been suggested, however, is Kolkata, with the TRAI having said that 1800MHz frequencies in that circle should cost a minimum of INR1.01 billion per MHz compared to the INR1.25 billion base price set for the 900MHz sale.

The TRAI’s recommendations will now be sent to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which will make the final decision regarding the reserve price.

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