"At such a price (Rs 3,646 crore) one would not find any takers for 800 Mhz spectrum in the 2015 auctions, given that this price has also been previously tested in the market, way back in November 2012," Russian conglomerate Sistema controlled SSTL said in a statement. The next round of spectrum auction across three bands -- 800 Mhz (CDMA), 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz (both used for GSM services) -- is proposed to be held in February from which government expects to garner minimum of Rs 9,533 crore.

Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission, according to sources, in its meeting on Monday has taken a view that base price of pan-India (22 circles) CDMA spectrum should be Rs 3,646 crore, premium 900 Mhz band Rs 3,693 crore per Mhz for 18 circles across the country. For 1800 Mhz band, it has been proposed at Rs 2,191 crore per megahertz in 20 circles.

The CDMA base price at Rs 3,646 crore is more than base price fixed by government for November 2012 auction.Government fixed price of 1.25 Mhz spectrum in CDMA (800 Mhz) band at Rs 4,550 crore for November 2012 auction. At this price, cost of 1 Mhz spectrum comes to Rs 3,640 crore. The November 2012 saw muted response from the industry because of high base price and there was no bidder for the CDMA spectrum.

Government later on reduced the base price for GSM spectrum by 30 percent and CDMA spectrum by 50 percent. There were no takers for GSM spectrum in 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz band in March 2013 auctions as industry felt the prices were high. SSTL, however, turned up to bid for CDMA spectrum in that auction. Telecom regulator TRAI commended reduction of up to 62 percent in base price for GSM spectrum auctioned in February 2014 compared to the price fixed for March 2013 auction.

The auction fetched bids worth Rs 62,162 crore. For CDMA spectrum, the regulator recommended about 50 percent higher base price in February after the auctions. In the November, the Department of Telecom sought views of TRAI again on CDMA spectrum base price. The regulator in the same month recommended increase of CDMA price by another 15 percent at Rs 3,104 crore. The Telecom Commission further enhanced base price proposal to Rs 3,646 crore. SSTL said it is disappointed with the recommended reserve price of 800 Mhz spectrum as it is not in sync with the business and ecosystem realities.