New Delhi, Feb 26: With no takers for GSM spectrum, the government will start auction of CDMA spectrum, earlier scheduled for after the GSM auction, on March 11, the Department of Telecom said Tuesday.
“The 1800 and 900 MHz bands (used for GSM) were to be auctioned simultaneously starting from March 11, 2013, and the 800 MHz band auction was to commence two days after the conclusion of the auction of 1800 and 900 MHz spectrum. In the light of these developments, the auction of 800 MHz spectrum will commence on 11.3.2013 itself,” the DoT said here in a statement.
According to the DoT, the last date for applying for the March 11 airwaves auction was Feb 25.
“At the time of close on the last date for receipt of applications… one applicant, namely, SSTL (Sistema Shyam Teleservices) registered for the auction of 800 MHz spectrum and no applicants registered for the auction of 1800 and 900 MHz spectrum,” the statement said.
The department will now start the process for the third round of auction for 20 of 22 area circles to comply with the Supreme Court order to place on sale the entire spectrum freed by cancellation of 122 2G licences, which was entirely either in the 1800 or 800 MHz bands.
The department said the spectrum put up for auction in Delhi and Mumbai circles were in compliance with the apex court’s latest order of Feb 15.
“In the light of these developments, DoT will review the need to include the remaining two circles for 1800 MHz bands, namely Delhi and Mumbai, in the next round of auctions as also the need for a re-auction in the three metro circles of the 900 MHz band,” the statement said.
A furthur round of auctions for 1800 and 900 Mhz bands will be decided by the Empowered Group of Ministers after deliberating on the issue, the department said.
“The quantum of spectrum, the reserve price and the timelines for this auction will be decided after necessary directions are obtained from the EGOM and where required, the cabinet, in this regard,” the DoT said.
The department is also in the process of filing an affidavit of compliance in the Supreme Court regarding implementation of its Feb 15 order.
“Any further directions issued by the SC in the matter will be incorporated into the plan of action for the next round of auction to be held as soon as possible after the March 11, 2013, auction is completed,” DoT said.
The DoT will also take action as directed by the Delhi High Court to dispose of the applications for extension of licences received from operators whose licences are due to expire in November 2014.
“This action will be completed before the timeline fixed by the High Court of Delhi, i.e., March 7, 2013,” the DoT said.