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Supreme Court Extends Time Limit For Fresh 2G Auctions Till 31st August 2012

The Supreme Court has extended the deadline for the auction of 2G licenses which were cancelled by it, from June to 31st August 2012, and has asked telcos whose licenses were cancelled to continue services till 7th September, according to IBNLive. The Court rejected the Government's plea to give an extension of 400 days to conduct fresh auctions. The Supreme Court in its ruling in the 2G spectrum allocation case had cancelled 122 licenses in February and had directed the Government to conduct fresh auctions for sale of the spectrum within a period of four months, and had asked the TRAI for coming up with fresh recommendations. Although, today's order will give two more months to the Government, telcos are unhappy with the TRAI's proposed reserved base price for auctions and additional recommendations related to spectrum re-farming. The authority has recommended a reserve price of Rs 3,622.18 crore per MHz in 1800 MHz band, Rs 7244 crore in 800 and 900 MHz band, and Rs 14,000 crore in 700 MHz band for spectrum auctions. It has also recommended refarming of spectrum in the 900 MHz band, which is more cost effective for telcos. Shares of telecom companies have also registered sharp falls following the recommendations, with shares of Bharti Airtel falling by 7.5%, and of Idea Cellular registering a decline of 9.8%.  

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