New Delhi: In the absence of bidders for GSM spectrum, the government will start auction of CDMA spectrum on March 11 which was earlier scheduled to start after completion of GSM airwaves auction.

"1800 and 900 MHz bands (used for GSM) were to be auctioned simultaneously starting from March 11, 2013 and the 800 MHz band auction was to commence 2 days after the conclusion of the auction of 1800 and 900 MHz spectrum. In the light of these developments, the auction of 800 MHz spectrum will commence on 11.3.2013 itself," DoT said in a statement.

The department said that auction of 1800, 900 & 800 MHz spectrum was scheduled to begin on March 11 and the last date for receipt of applications was February 25. "At the time of close on the last date for receipt of applications ... one applicant, namely, SSTL (Sistema Shyam Teleservices) registered for the auction of 800 MHz spectrum and no applicants registered for the auction of 1800 and 900 MHz spectrum," DoT said.

The department will now start process for third round of auction for at least 20 out of 22 services area to comply Supreme Court order of February 15, 2013 which asked it to place on sale the entire spectrum freed by cancellation of 122 2G licences. The government has announced auction of 10 MHz each in Karnataka and Rajasthan, though 22 Mhz and 17.6 Mhz respectively of spectrum in these circles were freed due to cancellation of licences.

The spectrum put up for auction in Delhi and Mumbai service areas were in compliance with the SC order. "In the light of these developments, DoT will review the need to include the remaining 2 circles for 1800 MHz bands, namely Delhi and Mumbai in the next round of auctions as also the need for a re-auction in the 3 metro circles of the 900 MHz band," the statement said.

DoT will now place the the issue before Empowered Group of Ministers who will decide on the auction of 1800 and 900 Mhz band through a third round of auction. "The quantum of spectrum, the reserve price and the timelines for this auction will be decided after necessary directions are obtained from the EGOM and where required, the cabinet, in this regard," DoT said.

The department is also in the process of filing an affidavit of compliance in the SC regarding implementation of its February 15 order. "Any further directions issued by the SC in the matter will be incorporated into the plan of action for the next round of auction to be held as soon as possible after the March 11, 2013 auction is completed," DoT said.

DoT said it will also take action as directed by the Delhi HC to dispose of the applications for extension of licences received from licensees whose licences are due to expire in November 2014. "This action will be completed before the timeline fixed by the High Court of Delhi,i.e., March 7, 2013," the statement said.


Latest News from Business News Desk