More reports on: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
DoT, TRAI prepare to take fresh look at 2G pricing news
21 May 2010

The Department of Telecommunications on Thursday announced the formation of a committee to examine the recommendations of regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on spectrum management and licensing framework.

M P Tangirala, deputy director general (licensing and finance), along with DoT officials Shahnawaz Alam, Sanay Kumar, Sanjeevan Sinha, will form the five-member committee, official sources said in New Delhi. The panel is expected to submit the report in the next seven days.

TRAI drew criticism over the last week for linking 2G spectrum prices to the bids received in the ongoing 3G auction. It had suggested that existing players with more than 6.2 Mhz of 2G spectrum be asked to pay equivalent to what the operators are bidding for 3G spectrum.

In his latest communication to the DoT, J S Sarma, chairman of TRAI, said, "While recommending that 3G prices be adopted as the current price of spectrum in the 1,800 Mhz band, the authority also stated that it is separately initiating an exercise to further study this subject and that the government would be apprised of its findings.

''On the issues involved in the re-farming of 800/900 Mhz spectrum, it was indicated that the Authority will carry out a separate consultation process and shall give its recommendations to the government. I would accordingly suggest that the government should await the recommendations of the authority on both issues before taking any decision."

As a result of the current proposals, GSM players such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone would have to cough up nearly Rs35,000 crore over the next few years. These operators had termed the recommendations arbitrary and urged the government to dump them.

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DoT, TRAI prepare to take fresh look at 2G pricing