The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in August had started the consultation process for the next round of auctions for spectrum held by mobile operators Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and RCom as some of their licences are set to expire in 2015-16.

TRAI will recommend the reserve price of spectrum to be auctioned across 18 out of the 22-telecom service areas across the country for 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz bands, used for providing mobile services based on GSM technology standard.

The Authority has recently conducted an open house discussion with industry players in order to get their views on reserve price, quantum of spectrum and other issues related to auction.

In December 2015, 4 licences of Bharti Airtel, 7 each of Idea Cellular, Reliance Telecom and Vodafone will complete their 20-year term and would require renewal.

The companies can renew their licences by paying a fixed fee but for continuing mobile and other wireless services they will need to buy spectrum afresh through auction at market determined rates. By April 2016, two more permits of Bharti and Idea will come up for renewal.

As per TRAI, 184 Mhz of spectrum in 900 MHz band and 104 MHz in 1800 Mhz band can be put up for the auction.

The government, in its Budget Estimates for the current financial year, 2014-15, has projected minimum revenue of Rs 9,355 crore from auction of 800 Mhz as well as the 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz bands.