The government has decided to defer the auction of 2G spectrum by about 10 days. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), on Saturday, stated that the auction would start on February 3, 2014, instead of January 23 as stated earlier.
The DoT has also decided to permit withdrawal of bid applications before the auction starts. Applicants can withdraw bid applications on or before January 27. This option was not there in the original Notice Inviting Applications (NIA). With this option, companies can withdraw bids before auction if they do not get contiguous spectrum in the circles they would like to bid.
Auction of 1800MHz and 900MHz bands will commence as a single process, and interested operators will have to apply on or before January 15, instead of January 4 as the DoT had stated earlier in the NIA.
The DoT will publish the final list of bidders on January 29, while a mock auction will take place on January 30-31.
The government has earlier said that it aimed to get Rs 48,000 crore from the auction of the 1800 MHz and 900 MHz bands. It will auction 403 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band and 46 MHz in the 900 MHz band. In 1800 MHz, the largest spectrum will be available for bidders in Tamil Nadu (30.2 MHz). The lucrative circles of Delhi and Mumbai will have 22.8 MHz and 25.2 MHz, respectively.
Early this month, the Cabinet approved a reserve (floor) price for 2G spectrum, 25.8 per cent lower than at the previous auction as suggested by the EGoM on telecom, at Rs 1,764.79 crore for one MHz of pan-Indian spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.