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India’s 2014 2G Auction Postponed: To Begin On 3rd February 2014

Our coverage of the 2G Auctions is brought to you by OnMobile Global, India’s leading Mobile Value Added Services [VAS] company

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has pushed forward the date of the 2014 2G spectrum auctions in India, where 403.2 MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band and 46 MHz in the 900MHz band is being auctioned. The relevant dates to track are:

02 Jan: Clarifications to NIA
15 Jan: Last date for submission of Applications
20 Jan: Publication of ownership details of Applicants
23 Jan: Bidder Ownership Compliance Certificate
25 Jan: Pre-qualification of Bidders
27 Jan: Last date of Withdrawal of Applications
29 Jan: Final List of bidders
30-31 Jan: Mock Auction
03 Feb: Start of the Auction

You can download the notice inviting applications here.

Base Price: Union Cabinet had set a base price of Rs 1,765 crore per MHz for 1800MHz spectrum, which is about 26% lower than the previous auction. For 900MHz spectrum, it had approved a base price of Rs 360 crore per MHz for Delhi, Rs 328 crore for Mumbai and Rs 125 crore for Kolkata, which was about 53% lower than the previous auctions.

The government hopes to raise Rs 48,000 crore from these auctions if it is all sold at the approved reserve price, although note that both the previous 2G spectrum auctions have largely been unsuccessful. It failed to sell any spectrum in the 1800MHz band and 900MHz band in the March 2013 auctions and sold a little more than a third of the spectrum offered in November 2012 auctions.

Spectrum Available: In the 1800 MHz band, block sizes of 200 KHz (paired) are on sale in all 22 telecom circles. New entrants must bid a minimum of 25 blocks in 1800 MHZ band, amounting to 5MHz of spectrum while existing licensees should bid for a minimum of 3 blocks. The spectrum cap for each operator in 1800MHz band is 50% of spectrum allotted and put for auction in 1800MHz band. In the 900MHz band, block sizes of 1MHz (paired) are on sale in three circles – Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Each bidder must bid for a minimum of five blocks in 900 MHz band, amounting to 5MHz of spectrum.  The spectrum cap for each operator in 900MHz band is 50% of spectrum allotted and put for auction in 900MHz band.

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Auctioneer: Times Internet Limited & e‐Procurement Technologies Limited will be auctioneers of this e-auction.

Points to note:

– Existing licensees will be treated as ‘New Entrant’ in service areas for the frequency bands in which they currently do not hold spectrum.

– Bidders whose licenses will expire in 2014 and their spectrum will be put to auction will be treated as ‘New Entrants’.

– There is a cap of 25% on the total spectrum assigned in each band with applicable paired band put together.

– The licenses being offered are technology neutral licenses. However, if bidders are deploying a technology besides GSM/CDMA/WCDMA, they should provide details of the proposed technology to be deployed within one month of obtaining the license.

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-In case of a change of technology, while rolling out the networks for compliance of roll out obligations, information about the new technology should be given at least one year before any new technology Base Station site is offered for testing. Prior clearance will be required for technologies other than GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, LTE and WiMAX.

– New entrants should have a net worth of Rs 100 crore for each service area besides Jammu & Kashmir and North East areas where the net worth should be Rs 50 crore.

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