TRAI launches consultation on 2G pricing

Dylan Bushell-Embling
25 Jul 2013

Indian regulator TRAI has launched a public consultation on the upcoming third attempt to reauction GSM and CDMA spectrum freed by the cancellation of 122 2G licenses in 2012.

The regulator has acknowledged that basing the reserve price for the prior auctions on the high bids from the $15 billion 3G auction from 2010 was a mistake, DNA Indiareported.

Because 3G is also valuable for data services and VAS, pricing spectrum allocated for 2G at 3G rates was “akin to comparing apples and oranges,” TRAI said.

The telecom sector blamed high reserve prices on the lack of participation in rounds one and two of the 2G re-auctions.

The reserve prices had been set by an empowered group of ministers (EGoM) and approved by Indian cabinet.

The consultation will run until August 21. Vodafone India has already submitted a suggestion to TRAI to auction the airwaves in blocks of 200KHz - rather than the 1.25MHz blocks it has been using – so operators can avoid paying for spectrum they won't use, Economic Times reported.

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