The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is considering asking the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) to request the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for its views on auctioning CDMA spectrum, say news reports.
The EGoM is likely to meet next week. On December 7, 2012, DoT had asked the EGoM for its decision pertaining to the action of spectrum in the 800 MHz band. However, the EGoM had deferred the matter.
Currently, DoT is looking at two possible scenarios for auctioning spectrum in the 800 MHz band. The first scenario includes EGoM approaching TRAI for its recommendations on the matter and the second option is to hold the auction after spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 900 MHz bands have been sold.
The government did not receive any bids for CDMA spectrum in the recently concluded 2G auction. CDMA operators did not participate in the auction, on grounds that the reserve price of the spectrum was too high. The government had priced CDMA spectrum 1.3 times higher than GSM spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.
In February, 2012, the Supreme Court had cancelled the licences of various operators, including the CDMA licences of Sistema Shyam Teleservices Limited in 21 telecom circles and Tata Teleservices Limited in three circles. It was mandatory for these companies to bag spectrum in the auction to continue operations in circles where their licences will be valid only until January 18, 2013.