New guidelines on spectrum allotment in 10 days: Raja

New guidelines on spectrum allotment in 10 days: Raja

New Delhi: The government on 4 October said it would issue new set of guidelines for issue of telecom licences and allocation of spectrum in the next 10 days.

“A committee has been formed to scrutinise details of new applications and spectrum related issues. It will submit its report in the next 10 days," Communications Minister A Raja told reporters here on the sidelines of an Assocham event.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is currently looking into guidelines relating to spectrum allocation and other financial criteria like net worth of the applicant for the purpose of awarding new licences.

The government has received over 300 applications from nearly 30 companies to enter into the fast growing telecom sector.

The minister said, “after knowing all facts, a transparent approach will be followed to deal with these applications."

Various corporate houses and multinational companies including AT&T, Russian firm Sistema, Sterlite, Hindujas, DLF, Parsvnath, Videocon and others have entered the fray to get telecom licences.

On the issue of capping number of players in a circle, he said, “the operators are also not in favour of capping number of players in a circle."

Raja said for allocating new licences, all three categories - existing operators, licence holders without spectrum and fresh applicants would be dealt with separately.

Local and global wireless carriers are looking to expand in India and the country’s patchwork of relatively untapped villages -- home to hundreds of millions of people -- are seen as a major driver of future growth.

US phone company AT&T said on Monday its Indian unit had applied for licences to provide services in India in association with its local partner Mahindra Telecommunications Private Ltd.

Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s second-biggest mobile firm, earlier this year paid $11.1 billion for a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar, since renamed Vodafone Essar, from Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecom International.

India will invite bids to set up 10,000 towers in rural areas, in the second phase of the government’s thrust to improve rural teledensity, Telecom Secretary D.S. Mathur said.

The local market is divided into 23 zones and applicants are allowed to seek licences for some or all of these.