Moving swiftly to submit its recommendations to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) over the auctioning of spectrum vacated by the cancellation of 122 telecom licences, mobile phone company Uninor – majority owned by Norway's Telenor – on Friday asked the regulator to keep the incumbent telcos such as Vodafone and Airtel out of the auctions.
Sigve Brekke, managing director of Uninor – a venture between Telenor and real estate firm Unitech – told TRAI in a note as well as at a personal meeting with chairman J S Sarma that the Supreme Court has specifically mentioned in its ruling that ''fresh licences be granted by auction''. As such, only fresh players and operators who have been impacted by the Supreme Court verdict should be allowed to participate, at least in the first round of auctioning.
Brekke suggested that the auction process should be split into two rounds. The first should allocate new licences with spectrum not less than 6.2 MHz and the second should auction the remaining spectrum.
He said the second round could invite all the players - new and old licence holders.
''Once everyone (old and new licensees) is on equal footing with at least one block of 6.2 MHz, there should be auctioning of spectrum for building capacity,'' said Brekke.
Uninor lost its pan-India mobile permit after the Supreme Court last week quashed all 122 licences granted after January 2008, during the tenure of the now jailed Andimuthu Raja as telecom minister.