DoT restricts TTSL, Aircel bidding

25 Feb 2015

Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and Aircel have been denied permission to bid for new frequencies in the upcoming auction and may only top-up their existing spectrum holdings, the Economic Times writes. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said in a statement that only operators with a net worth of at least INR1 billion (USD16.09 million) are eligible to bid for frequencies in new circles or different frequency bands to their current spectrum holdings. Aircel and TTSL were the only companies to submit applications to take part in the auction to have a negative net worth and as such had their bidding options limited. According to the DoT, Aircel has a negative net worth of INR66.69 billion, whilst TTSL has a negative net worth of INR89.85 billion. Aircel has a pan-India footprint for 2G services, so may bid for 900MHz/1800MHz spectrum in all 22 circles (the DoT treats the 900MHz and 1800MHz ranges as a single band for the purposes of this restriction). Aircel may also bid for additional 2100MHz frequencies in any of the 13 circles in which it already holds spectrum. TTSL meanwhile may not purchase any spectrum in the three circles where it currently has no licences, namely Assam, North East and Jammu & Kashmir.