Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had on August 7 began 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.
    
The process will determine 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.
    
According to sources, Department of Telecom (DoT) has already provided the details to Trai about the quantum of available spectrum including the details of frequencies along with status of quantum of contiguous and non-contiguous spectrum in 900 MHz and 1800 Mhz bands.
     
DoT, however, said the quantum of spectrum to be put for auction and auction of spectrum in Tamil Nadu will be decided by the government separately.
     
Sources said Trai in a recent letter to DoT asked about the exact range range of frequencies in 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands allotted to telecom service providers, government agencies and frequencies which are lying vacant in each service area.
    
Sources said Trai is of the view that if it know all the details about spectrum, it will be able to give more detailed recommendations on the reserve price.
     
The source, however, added that the Authority will give recommendations even if DoT did not provide it with the requisite details.
    
In December 2015, 4 licences of Bharti Airtel, 7 each of Idea Cellular and Reliance Telecom and 6 of Vodafone will complete their 20-year term and would require renewal.

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