Industry watchers say Bharti Airtel's Telenor acquisition could be a smart move on the pricing front
Trying to brush aside criticism about the just-concluded telecom spectrum auction, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said on Friday the bidding process was not a failure.
Government expects to hold the mega spectrum auction in September, through which it hopes to garner Rs. 5.66 lakh crores, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said on Friday.
Auction of telecom spectrum due March 4 may burn a hole in the pockets of the operators and may increase call and data charges, experts have opined.
Defence ministry to release only 25% of total 3G spectrum required by DoT for auctions in 17 circles
The Defence Ministry may release only 5 MHz of 3G spectrum, one fourth of total quantity sought by DoT for conducting auction in 17 out of 22 telecom service areas in the country.
"Guidelines will be in place by end of year on spectrum trading and sharing," Prasad said at the press conference marking the first 100 days in the ministry.
Telecom operators met Trai Chairman Rahul Khullar yesterday to discuss the guidelines for the implementation of spectrum trading, which are expected to be released within a few days.<br /><br />
DoT said operators were asked to submit the compliance report with respect to accuracies achieved so far by them, which can be used as input for deciding the methodology of measurement and for preparing roadmap for implementation of the accuracies.<br /><br />
As per earnest money deposits made by telecom companies last week, only three players will be bidding for 5 mhz spectrum pan India in each in the two spectrum bands. These are Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Jio.
Vodafone has offered a bank guarantee of Rs 2,800 crore while RIL arm Reliance Jio, which owns a nationwide licence for high-speed 4G mobile phone networks, has put in a bank surety of Rs 2,600 crore.<br /><br />
The telecom market has improved significantly for incumbents in the last one year. Tariffs have risen, spectrum base price is reduced significantly, norms for mergers and acquisition will soon be liberalised so incumbents are already witnessing a reversal of fortunes.
The Cabinet has approved recommendations made by the Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
In a merger, the resultant entity has to pay market rates for holding spectrum above 4.4 MHz that was allotted to the companies administratively at old rates.
The department of telecommunication has fined Vodafone Rs 100 crore for violating licence norms on the SLD service that allows roaming customers to be on local networks and thereby avoid paying roaming and STD charges.
Former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia was today warned by a Delhi court for "evading" questions relating to the 2G spectrum allocation case in which she is considered as a "sensitive" and "important" witness.
In strongly worded letters both Montek Singh Ahluwalia and AUSPI, a lobby for CDMA service providers have objected to the EGoM's recommendation to charge a one-time fee for excess spectrum allocations.