Auction deadline extension gives telcos more time to prepare

New Delhi: The government today said telecom operators will get now get adequate time to prepare for bidding in the upcoming spectrum auction with the Supreme Court accepting its proposal to extend the deadline by over four months.

The apex court has extended the deadline for auction of 2G spectrum vacated from its judgement cancelling 122 permits, from August 31 to January 11, 2013. Also, the operators, whose licences were cancelled by the court in its February order, will be allowed to offer services till January 18, 2013.

"We believe this schedule strikes the best balance between the need for speedy conduct of the auction and the need for leaving adequate time for participants to bid in the auction

because they need to organise finances," Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar said.

 Auction deadline extension gives telcos more time to prepare

Reuters

Expressing happiness at Supreme Court accepting the government's plea for extension of the deadline, he said the auction would be carried out within the time-frame fixed by the apex court. The auction, he said, would start before November 12 and 1800 MHz would first be auctioned, followed by 800 MHz spectrum.

The entire process may take around 40 days, he said. The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) also issued the information memorandum (IM) today which states that the auction process will start from November 12. Though the decision comes as a relief to operators whose

licences were quashed by the Supreme Court's February order, the companies refused to comment on their participation in the upcoming auction.

"SSTL has filed a curative petition before the Supreme Court... Since our immediate focus is on the curative petition, hence it will be premature for us to say anything at this stage about our participation in the spectrum auction," Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) said in a statement. Another operator, Uninor said the company took notice of the Supreme Court order and also the IM released by the DoT. "We will now study this document closely in order to finalise our position towards the spectrum auctions," Uninor said in a statement.

CDMA industry body Auspi said that the DoT's proposal has been accepted by the apex court, is a welcome step. "Now the department has enough time for the auction process," Auspi added.

PTI

Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 11:33:07 IST