Spectrum should be allotted to all successful bidders: Operators

December 16th, 2008 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) Reinforcing the argument for equal opportunities during spectrum allocation, cellular operators Tuesday requested the government to allocate third generation (3G) spectrum simultaneously to all successful bidders. In a letter to Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) T.V. Ramachandran said: “It may be appreciated that if the slots for 3G spectrum are limited, it could significantly distort the bidding process, and consequently the market, as it could lead to unrealistic bids for the 3G spectrum.”

COAI suggested that in order to avoid this, all-successful bidders could be asked to wait till spectrum becomes available for simultaneous allocation to all. Such bidders could be asked to deposit a nominal guarantee as bid earnest money with the Department of Telecom (DoT), it said.

If this cannot be done, COAI said, bidders who are put on the waiting list should not be asked to match highest bidder price, but instead be allocated spectrum at their respective final bid price.

It said this would ensure that a bidder being given the first-mover advantage has paid a higher price for prior allotment.

Moreover, successful bidders in the queue should be required to pay only a nominal portion of the bid amount and the balance should be payable upon allocation of the 3G spectrum, COAI noted.

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