Govt rejects Airtel, Idea offer for additional spectrum

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New Delhi, Dec 14: In a new twist to the ongoing spectrum war, the government has rejected the offer of Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular for providing a second licence in 4.4 MHz spectrum for pan-India operations.

''The matter is with the Additional Solicitor General and unless the legal tangles are cleared, there is no question of bidding'' Telecom Minister A Raja told reporters here on Dec 13. Country's leading mobile carrier Bharti Airtel earlier this week offered Rs 2,650 crore for 4.4 MHz of spectrum as an initial bid which could be increased futher.

Aditya Birla-promoted Idea also joined the fray, offering Rs 1,650 crore for the same amount of spectrum across the country to match Reliance Communications' payment of 1,650 crore, and added that it (Idea) would pay a higher amount in the event of spectrum being auctioned.

The existing guidelines don't permit second licence for running the same service using the same technology in the same service area.

UNI

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