New Delhi, April 18 (PTI): The telecom department has approached Trai for its recommendations on the auction of airwaves held by 29 licensees in 18 out of 22 service areas. The licences expire in 2015-16.
“Reference to Trai for its recommendation on auction of 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum had been sent on Thursday. The auction is proposed for about 29 licences,” a DoT official said.
The Telecom Commission, in its meeting on May 24-26, 2012, had accepted Trai’s recommendation to conduct spectrum auction at least 18 months prior to the expiry of licences.
The government, in its interim budget, has set a revenue target of Rs 38,954.02 crore from communication services in this financial year, which include receipts from spectrum sale, licence fees and one-time spectrum charges.
In December 2015, four licences of Bharti Airtel, seven each of Idea Cellular and Reliance Telecom and six of Vodafone will complete their 20-year term and would require renewal.
The companies can renew their licences by paying a fixed fee, but to continue mobile and other wireless services they will need to buy spectrum afresh through auctions at market determined rates.
By April 2016, two more permits of Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular will come up for renewal.
The 29 licences together hold about 198 megahertz of spectrum.