Telecom Regulatory says no to 2-G spectrum auctions, slashes licence fee

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New Delhi, May 12 (ANI): The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that as of now, the 2G-spectrum on which mobile phones work, should not be auctioned.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, J S Sarma, Chairman of TRAI, said: ""The reason why we are not allowing 2G spectrum to be auctioned is because there is very little spectrum that is left and you will find in most of the circles. There will be only six circles in which spectrum after this 6.2 megahertz is given."

The regulator suggested that the licence be unlinked from spectrum and telecom companies apply separately once the GSM spectrum of 6.2 megahertz (Mhz) is commissioned.

The authority wants operators to share 2G spectrum for five years. It was also mentioned that the 3G spectrum auction price may be reference point for 2G.

The existing operators will need to pay onetime fee. For spectrum between 6.2 and 8 MHz the fee will be equal to 3G prices and for spectrum above eight MHz the price will be 1.3 times the price of 3G.

TRAI has also suggested linking 2G-spectrum allocation to network rollout, not subscriber base.

The regulatory authority also proposed that the licence fee paid by the operators should be slashed to a uniform six percent of the gross revenue.

"We have proposed that the licence fee should be brought down to six percent in graded fashion starting this year. The metros will continue to have ten percent, 'A' category circles will have nine percent, 'B'category circles will have seven percent. We have brought it down to over six percent in next four years," Sarma said.

The regulatory authority also recommended that infrastructure providers should be brought under licensing regime.

Operators now will get spectrum depending on their coverage and efficiency as TRAI has recommended the de-linking of spectrum from licence. (ANI)

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