DoT announces third round of 2G auction

The government will auction all the remaining spectrum that was freed up following the Supreme Court's last year's order — which revoked 122 telecom permits — in the third round of bids. The second round of bids is scheduled for March 11. However, the date and other details of the auction will be notified separately.

The Department of Telecom (DoT), in a late-evening announcement on Wednesday, said that following the Supreme Court's last week's order, it has decided that a separate auction will be held for the balance spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band, in compliance with the Supreme Court's directive dated February 15, 2013.

Last week, the apex court had directed the government to auction the entire spectrum vacated by the quashing of 122 2G telecom licences. Though 514.8 MHz of spectrum was freed up as a result of the cancellation, the government put up only 271.25 MHz of spectrum for auction in November 2012.

"Details are being worked out and a separate NIA (notice inviting application) in this regard will be issued shortly," DoT said.

The DoT was earlier considering increasing the quantum of spectrum in Karnataka and Rajasthan circles, for which auction is scheduled to start from March 11, but did not do so.

The government has announced auction of 10 MHz of spectrum each in Karnataka and Rajasthan, though 22 MHz and 17.6 MHz, respectively, of spectrum in these circles was freed following the cancellation of licences.

The quantum of GSM spectrum kept for auction in Delhi, Mumbai and the CDMA band is already in compliance with the Supreme Court's order.

The government has announced it will auction 15 MHz of radio waves each in Delhi and Mumbai in the 1,800 MHz band, currently used for 2G GSM services, as against 4.4 MHz and 13.2 MHz, respectively, released in these circles following the quashed permits. FE

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