EGoM to take final call Tuesday on spectrum pricing

June 4th, 2012 - 10:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Mumbai, June 4 (IANS) An empowered group of ministers (EGoM) led by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will meet Tuesday to take a final call on key issues of 2G spectrum auction such as pricing and refarming, officials said.

The EGoM would go through the analysis report of the Telecom Commission on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) proposals and their impact on tariffs, and the department of telecom’s own recommendations and take a final decision.

Meanwhile, the GSM operators said the EGoM should take into consideration all the information and views of different groups and analysts to arrive at a decision.

“Our major concern is the reserve pricing recommendation from the sector regulator, which would be a deathknell for the industry. Let the market dynamic decide what the spectrum price should be,” Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), told IANS.

TRAI had recommended, among other proposals, a reserve price of Rs.3,622 crore for 1 Mhz pan-India spectrum, which is around 10 times higher than the price at which 2G licences were allocated in 2008 under then Telecom Minister A. Raja.

The operators have warned of a 100 percent hike in tariffs if the proposals are accepted.

According to consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), telecom tariffs are expected to rise by 90 paise a minute in metros and 20-34 paise on an average across the country if the sector regulator’s recommendations on spectrum pricing are accepted.

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