DoT may auction BWA spectrum soon

DoT may auction BWA spectrum soon

New Delhi: Under pressure from the finance ministry to auction broadband spectrum at the earliest, the Department of Telecom (DoT) on Wednesday said it was working on the same, but did not specify any timeline to invite bids.

“They have asked us to expedite the process and we are certainly working on all the aspects involved... We will have to decide the timing of the auction because we will need to try and auction in a manner in which it gives a nationwide footprint," telecom secretary R. Chandrashekhar told reporters here.

The finance ministry had written twice to the DoT to immediately auction wireless broadband spectrum.

According to reports, sale of one block of Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum could fetch about Rs13,000 crore, a move that would help the government in meeting the deficit target of 4.6% of the GDP.

Last year, the government had earned over Rs1 trillion through the auction of 3G and BWA spectrum.

Asked about Trai writing to the DoT insisting on cancellation of 74 licences for missing roll-out obligations, Chandrashekhar said, “We are looking at Trai’s letter."

While Trai is insisting on cancellation of 74 licences for missing roll-out obligations, the DoT wants the number to be just 12.

On the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)’s directions to allocate 2G spectrum to Tata Teleservices (TTSL), he said, “... Action has to be taken now after TDSAT order based on availability of spectrum. Overall, we are looking to take the decision as fast as possible."

The telecom tribunal, TDSAT, had asked DoT to allot start-up 2G spectrum to the company and hauled up the telecom department (DoT) for delaying the allocation for nearly three years.