TRAI recommends six-fold hike in price of start-up 2G spectrum

New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) In a development that has hugefinancial implications for existing as well as new operators,telecom regulator TRAI has recommended fixing the price for6.2 Mhz of pan-India start-up 2G spectrum at Rs 10,972.45crore, more than six times the present cost of Rs 1,658 crore.

In its recommendations to the Department of Telecom(DoT), Trai has also said that every Mhz of additionalspectrum (on an all-India basis) beyond the contracted limitof 6.2 Mhz would cost a massive Rs 4,571.87 crore.

Most of the telecom firm, including Bharti, Vodafone,Idea and state-owned companies like BSNL and MTNL, hold extraspectrum beyond 6.2 Mhz and the new norms would put a hugefinancial burden on these telcos.

In addition, the licences of some of the operators,including Bharti, are due for renewal after completing 20years periodicity in several circles. Such companies wouldhave to pay to renew their licences as per the new normsrecommended by TRAI.

When contacted, TRAI Chairman J S Sarma told PTI, "Yes wehave submitted the recommendations to the DoT on the revisednorms for 2G spectrum pricing."

According to the report, the spectrum prices for bothcategories -- up to 6.2 Mhz and beyond 6.2 Mhz -- vary fromcircle to circle.

In the category of up to 6.2 Mhz of spectrum, the pricesof one Mhz varies from Rs 7.60 crore in the case of Jammu andKashmir to Rs 187.38 crore in the case of Tamil Nadu.

In the category of beyond 6.2 Mhz of spectrum, the pricevaries form between Rs 22.89 crore per Mhz in Jammu andKashmir to a maximum of Rs 431.95 crore in Andhra Pradesh.

The revised prices recommended by TRAI are effective fromApril 1, 2010, the report said.

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