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Govt gets cracking on 2G auction plan; notice inviting applications soon

Friday, 6 December 2013 - 7:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

The government will issue a notice inviting applications (NIA) in the next 15 to 20 days, which will set the pace for the upcoming 2G auction, said M F Farooqui, secretary of the department of telecommunications (DoT), on Thursday.

The government will auction the 403 MHz spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band and around 45 MHz in the 900 MHz band in January as planned, he said at a telecom event.

On the 800 MHz spectrum, Farooqui said the DoT will seek the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai)’s recommendations on the reserve price this week. However, the time-frame for the auction for 800 MHz cannot be determined now, he said.

At the same event, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underlined the need for enhancing “tele-density and usage of internet outside major cities for a complete telecom revolution”.

“With a rural tele-density of just over 40%, there are millions of people in our rural economy whose lives still remain untouched by the telecom revolution. And this is a challenge that should worry all of us and we must have determination to grapple with it effectively,” Singh said.

This deficit is further magnified when it comes to internet connectivity. On a per capita basis, the usage of the internet is quite low in India. “Both the availability and the reliability of internet services outside the major cities leave much to be desired,” he said.

The Cabinet which met on Thursday did not decide on the reserve price for the 2G auction.

Loud and clear signals
The government to issue notice inviting applications (NIA) in the next 15-20 days

403 MHz spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band and around 45 MHz in the 900 MHz band to be auctioned in January.

DoT to seek Trai’s recommendations on the reserve price of 800 MHz spectrum this week.


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