If the government is indeed considering an “auction” of spectrum limited to those who have applied for telecom licences, we hope it realizes that it will further add to policy inconsistency and could limit competition. An auction will be biased against those who have not applied for licences because they assumed the existing first-come-first-served system will put them at the very end of a long queue and out of reach of spectrum. An auction would arbitrarily eliminate potential investors. The fact that multiple applications have piled up—from both existing players and new, unknown, entities—indicates a sort of perverse confidence among some of them about being able to manipulate the queue system, given how prone it will be to abuse.
Recently, DoT has sent a questionnaire to the communications industry on vital issues such as the value of spectrum and auctioning. We hope such consultations deliver the best outcome; an open auction for 2G.