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Updated: SC Reject Telcos Plea To Stay 2G Auctions; DoT Reduces Available 1800MHz Spectrum

Our coverage of the 2G Auctions is brought to you by OnMobile Global, India’s leading Mobile Value Added Services [VAS] company Update: The Union Cabinet has approved the revised 5% spectrum usage charges for the 2G spectrum auction scheduled today, reports PTI. Last week, the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) had reduced the spectrum usage charges to a fixed 5% of the telco’s annual gross revenues, so as to increase the participation in the 2G auction. Cabinet also mentioned that telcos who do not bid and acquire spectrum in the auction will continue to be charge at existing rates which varies from 3% to 8%. Earlier: The Indian Supreme Court has rejected Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular's plea to cancel or postpone the 2G spectrum auctions in 900MHz band, scheduled for today, in an urgent special hearing yesterday, reports The Economic Times. It has also refused to extend their 20-year telecom licenses which is expiring in November 2014 and rejected the telcos' offer to surrender 3.8 MHz of their 10 MHz spectrum while retaining the remaining 6.2MHz spectrum. This urgent hearing was held after the telecom tribunal TDSAT had rejected Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular's pleas seeking a 10 year extension of its licenses in the 900 MHz band in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles, as indicated by a separate ET report. Loop Mobile's License Extension Plea Rejected: TDSAT has also dismissed a similar license extension plea from Loop Mobile, as indicated by the report. Earlier Loop Mobile had opted out of the 2G spectrum auction, saying it had filed a license extension plea…

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