The department of telecommunications (DoT) may put up unsold spectrum from the recently concluded auctions along with the airwaves in the 900 MHz band for sale simultaneously before March 31, 2013. The 900 MHz band is being held by existing operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone. The Government will re-farm the spectrum in the given band and take back only a part of the spectrum allocated to these incumbent operators.
The move to put up airwaves in both the bands for sale would help the Government to meet its target of raising 40,000 crore in the current fiscal year. Headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on spectrum is meeting today to discuss the pricing of unsold spectrum and spectrum in the 900 MHz band. The group will also discuss the pricing of CDMA spectrum in the 800 MHz band.
It is expected that the inter-ministerial panel will take a call on allowing GSM companies to bid for airwaves in the 800 MHz band, which has been used for CDMA-based services in India. Recently, the chief executives of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular urged the telecom minister to allow them to bid for unsold CDMA airwaves in the 800 MHz band in the next auction scheduled before March, 2013.