Department of Telecommunication (DoT) is expected to auction about 24 blocks of spectrum in the next auction round, reports The Hindu Business Line. The report stated that this 24 blocks will include 12 blocks of 1.25 MHz in the 1800 MHz spectrum band and 12 blocks of 1.25 MHz in the 900 MHz spectrum band. This is a significant increase from eight blocks which was put up on sale in the recently concluded 2G auctions. It also added that operators will be allowed to buy at least four blocks of 1.25 MHz in the forthcoming auction, going up to 25% of the total spectrum being put up for sale. In the previous auction, the operators were limited to purchase only five blocks of 1.25 MHz spectrum. Existing Operators as New Players? What's particularly interesting is that the report suggests that existing operators whose licences are up for renewal in 2014 are being considered as new players, according to draft guidelines of the auction, mandating them to bid for a minimum of four blocks in both 1800 MHz and 900 MHz band in the lucrative Delhi and Mumbai circles and allowing them to purchase more than five slots of spectrum in the auction. Note that we weren't able to locate any such draft proposal on the DoT website at the time of writing this article, but this move is expected to affect existing operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, who might be forced to participate in the auctions to retain their licenses in Delhi and Mumbai circles, as indicated by…
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