Telecom Regulator Recommends Higher Price for 800 MHz Spectrum
February 23, 2014 8:59 PM EST
The telecommunications regulator has recommended a 48 percent increase in the minimum bid price for airwaves in the 800 megahertz band in a planned auction.
Telecommunication towers are pictured through hanging flower pots at a residential building in Kolkata. Reuters
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) proposed on Saturday to set the auction reserve price at 26.85 billion rupees per MHz of spectrum in the 800 band, compared with 18.20 billion rupees set for a previous round of bids in March 2013.
The 800 MHz band is used by carriers, including Sistema's (SSAq.L) local unit, Reliance Communications Ltd (RLCM.NS), Tata Teleservices Ltd TATASL.UL and two state-run companies, to provide services on the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) mobile phone technology.
But more carriers could be interested in the next auction as the airwaves can now be used to roll out high-speed 4G LTE services after government removed technology restrictions.
A ministerial panel has the final say on the reserve price. The government has yet to set a date for the 800 band auction.
India's auction of two other airwave bands this month raised $10 billion in total.