Telecom Commission to deliberate on 3G policy

Telecom Commission to deliberate on 3G policy
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First Published: Sun, Jul 13 2008. 01 10 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Jul 13 2008. 01 10 PM IST
PTI
New Delhi: Telecom Commission will deliberate on the 3G spectrum auction guidelines formulated by the Department and within the next two weeks the policy will be out, Telecom Minister A Raja said.
“3G guidelines are almost over and it is going to be deliberated in Telecom Commission Within 15 days time, it is going to be announced. It is now on the agenda of Telecom Commission,” Telecom Minister A Raja told PTI.
Raja has already got the Prime Minister’s approval to go ahead with 3G spectrum auction that is likely to see foreign players’ participation in the bids and is expected to fetch good revenues to the exchequer.
Sources, however, said the announcement of the policy could be after 22 July, after the UPA government survives the a vote of confidence in Parliament. But the Commission which is the highest policy-making body will be ready with its approval for the policy anyway.
Reserve price
DoT now also has telecom regulator TRAI’s approval on a higher reserve price of about Rs 2,260 crore for telecom companies that want to participate in a pan-India auction for third generation (3G) spectrum.
This is exactly double the reserve price recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
The department, however, could not have TRAI’s nod for foreign players’ participation in the process. Existing Indian telcos are also bitterly opposed to the entry of overseas operators in the 3G space in the country.
The base price for metros and category A circles is Rs160 crore, while for category B and C circles it is Rs80 crore and Rs30 crore respectively. India has four metros, five category A circles, eight category B circles and 6 category C circles.
The new policy will be a welcome relief for the global telcos who want to enter India through the 3G route. Raja had said the government wants foreign telecom majors to be allowed to bid for 3G spectrums as this would push up the government revenues from the auction.
Companies such as AT&T Inc, Deutsche Telekom AG, Etisalat and NTT DoCoMo Inc. have expressed interest in the Indian market.
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First Published: Sun, Jul 13 2008. 01 10 PM IST
More Topics: 3G | Spectrum | TRAI | A Raja | Telecom |