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DoT to seek TRAI view on 2G spectrum auction
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NEW DELHI: The Department of Telecom (DoT) is learnt to have decided to refer the Subhodh Kumar panel report on 2G spectrum to TRAI before taking a call whether the radio waves be auctioned to operators.

A senior DoT official said the report would be sent to TRAI to give its comment on the host of suggestions that the Kumar panel has given in the report. Prominent among the recommendations is the one on whether 2G spectrum should be auctioned for both ne w and existing players.

For the existing players, the report suggests that spectrum be auctioned beyond 6.2 Mhz. For new players, spectrum and the licence be delinked so that for 4.4 Mhz of start-up spectrum they also have to go through auction.

2G spectrum matters only after the 3G spectrum auction issues are settled. In the interim, DoT has referred the committee report to TRAI for its views. The report calls for spectrum trading between operators with the government getting its share in such trades.

This, it felt, would lead to consolidation in the telecom space with more mergers and acquisitions. At present, there is a freeze on spectrum allocation as no spectrum beyond the start-up 4.4 MHz is being allotted.

Recently, the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal had dismissed a Reliance Communications plea for 1.8-MHz extra spectrum in the Mumbai circle on meeting the subscriber-linked criteria. - PTI

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