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CAG smells a bigger scam in S-band spectrum allocation: report news
07 February 2011

Media reports today said the CAG is enquiring into a 2005 agreement between Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and Devas Multimedia Private Ltd, relating to the allocation of S-band broadband spectrum without invitation of competitive bids.

Under the deal, Devas Multimedia will have access to 70 MHz of broadband spectrum in the 2500 KHz band for as little as $40 million for pre-launch capacity reservation and $250 million in satellite capacity lease payments, the report said.

The projected loss is based on the 2010 sale of 15 KHz of similar airwaves for 3G mobile services which fetched the government nearly Rs67,719 crore in the auction.

The report said the government is estimated to have suffered a presumptive loss of Rs2,00,000 crore in the preferential allotment of S-band spectrum to Devas Multimedia compared to the Rs1,76,000 crore presumed to have lost in the faulty allocation of 2G spectrum.

Antrix, which has a representative on the Devas Multimedia board, will share revenue with the private company once services start, the report said. The exact revenue share is not known, it added.

Devas Multimedia plans to invest $500 million to $750 million once the service is launched.

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CAG smells a bigger scam in S-band spectrum allocation: report