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2G Auction News Roundup: Tata Tele & Videocon Withdraw CDMA Spectrum Bids

Tata Teleservices Withdraws CDMA Bid

Tata Teleservices has withdrawn its bid for CDMA Spectrum in the upcoming 2G auction, reports NDTV Profit. The company had previously submitted its bid to seek CDMA licenses in three circles (Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and North East) after the Supreme Court had revoked the licenses as part of the 122 telecom licenses revoked in February 2012. The company had deposited Rs 22.5 crore with Department of Telecommunication (DoT) for this purpose.

Videocon Telecommunications Also Withdraws CDMA Bid

Prior to this, Videocon Telecommunications had also withdrawn its bid for CDMA Spectrum, according to a Business Standard report. Videocon had previously applied for 10 circles in the CDMA spectrum and 17 circles in the GSM spectrum in the upcoming 2G spectrum auctions. While it had deposited Rs 648 crore with DoT for the GSM spectrum, it had deposited Rs 220 crore for the CDMA spectrum. The company had acquired a pan-India 2G spectrum for Rs 1,658 crore in 2008, but its licenses were revoked as part of the Supreme court judgement which cancelled 122 licenses issued in January 2008. With this development, there are no qualified bidders left for the CDMA spectrum in the upcoming 2G spectrum auctions.

Indian Government To Be Ready For Legal Action From Sistema

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Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has instructed the Law Ministry to take necessary actions in anticipation of legal action from the Russian conglomerate Sistema, reports The Economic Times. Citing sources, the report states that Sibal has written a letter to the Law Ministry to appoint an arbitrator for the government and finalize the government’s stand, in case Sistema decides to take legal action against the government.

Sistema currently operates its telecom services in India as MTS. The company had filed a curative petition in the Indian Supreme Court in May 2012 and had stated a month later that it will be discontinuing all the investments in its voice business. Sistema had also decided not to participate in the upcoming 2G auctions, since it believed it was unfairly punished by the Supreme Court’s judgement in February. Further, the Russian Ambassador had recently stated that it will go for International arbitration if the 2G license cancellation issue was not resolved in Indian courts. Last week, DoT had stated that it will be supporting Sistema’s curative petition, as indicated by an Economic Times report, however Telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar noted that the government has no power in deciding the listing of curative petitions in courts.

Indian Government To Earn Rs 12,000 Crore From 2G Auctions

The Indian Government is expected to earn only Rs 12,000 crore from the upcoming 2G spectrum auctions, reports The Indian Express. The report states that this is a significant dip from the initial plan of Rs 40,000 crore and attributes the dip to the decrease in the demand for spectrum by prospective bidders as compared to supply. It also states that the demand will exceed supply only in Kolkata and West Bengal circles and the auction is expected to be completed in the first round itself.

Related:

Supreme Court Extends 2G Auction Deadline Till 11th Jan 2013; Implications
Times Internet To Conduct India’s 2G Auction; Money
What They’re Saying About India’s 2G Reserve Price: BSNL, Airtel, COAI, Idea & More

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