EGoM on telecom likely on Jun 20

NEW DELHI, June 17: The Empowered Group of Ministers on telecom, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, is likely to meet on June 20 to decide on spectrum auction related issues.
In this meeting, the EGoM is expected to take final call on minimum price at which spectrum auction should begin.
“This meeting is crucial to finalise all spectrum auction details before he (Mukherjee) resigns,” sources said.
Issues have to be sorted this month so as to meet Supreme Court set deadline of August 31 to complete spectrum auction, they added.
Mukherjee would resign before he files nomination for the post of President after the return of the Prime Minister from his foreign trip on June 23.
Sectoral regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, following a consultation process with industry, recommended the base price of Rs 3,622 for a megahertz of airwaves frequencies to be auctioned and over Rs 18,000 crore price for pan-India operations.
This is around 10 times high than what companies paid in 2008 when A Raja was the Telecom Minister.
In the last EGoM meet held on June 5, sources said, the EGoM has firmed up the schedule for the auction of 10 Mhz of airwaves in 8 slots of 1.25 Mhz each in the frequency band which is currently used for 2G GSM services.
The EGoM also finalised the auction 3.75 Mhz of airwaves in the frequency band currently used for CDMA services.
The airwaves are crucial for telecom services as they are used to transmit signal for mobile telephony and industry feels that high spectrum price will increase the tariff of telecom services in the range of 30 to 100 per cent. (PTI)