New Delhi, Sept. 7: The government has decided to consider telecom operators as new players in the megahertz bands where they do not operate, meaning in the forthcoming auctions they will get to bid for more spectrum than an existing operator in those bands.
“They (existing players) would be allowed to bid in bands in which they currently do not hold spectrum and for that purpose they would be treated as new entrants,” telecom secretary R. Chandrashekhar said here today.
India is planning to auction spectrum in two bands — 800MHz and 1800MHz. Telecom firms that operate in only one band but want to operate in the other would be treated as new players and allowed to bid for four blocks of 1.25MHz in the 1800MHz band and two blocks of 1.25MHz in the 800MHz band.
Old or existing players in the 1800MHz band would be allowed to bid for just two such blocks and in case of 800MHz band, for just one block.
For instance, Bharti Airtel, which offers services in the 1800MHz (GSM services) band, can bid for four blocks in the CDMA or 800MHz bandwidth.
The Telecom Commission, which met today, finalised the terms and conditions on entry fee, net worth and equity requirements, matters relating to performance bank guarantee and financial bank guarantee for a unified licence.
The complete guidelines for the licence will be issued within three months.
Issues related to migration of licences of existing players and bringing telecom tower companies under the licensing regime will also be decided.
Telecom regulator Trai has proposed to bring telecom tower companies under the licensing regime, which would fetch the government revenues of around Rs 1,900 crore per year.
“The complete guidelines, including the migration rules and all other details should be finalised at the earliest, preferably within three months,” Chandrashekhar said.
“The net worth required for participation in the auction is Rs 100 crore per service area and Rs 50 crore for Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast, translating into a net worth requirement on a pan India basis at Rs 2,100 crore for 22 service areas,” Chandrashekhar said.
The paid up equity of an applicant firm would be 1/10th of the net worth for each service area, he added.