New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The Telecom Commission, the highest policy-making forum in the communications ministry, will meet Thursday to take a call on the sector regulator’s controversial recommendations on spectrum auction which have made the industry come up in arms.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended, among other proposals, a reserve price of Rs.3,622 crore for 1 MHz pan-India spectrum, which is around 10 times higher than the price at which 2G licences were allocated in 2008 under then Telecom Minister A. Raja.
The proposals have been highly criticised by the operators and independent analysts alike. Calling TRAI’s recommendations a ‘death knell’ for the industry, the operators have also warned of a 100 percent hike in tariffs if the proposals are accepted.
According to a study conducted by consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), telecom tariffs are expected to rise by 90 paise a minute in metros and 20-34 paise on an average across the country if the sector regulator’s recommendations on spectrum pricing are accepted.
Following constant opposition from the industry, the Department of Telecom (DoT) had asked the regulator to review the recommendations. However, TRAI largely retained its proposals on high reserve price even in the revised paper.
The recommendation comes in the wake of the Feb 2 Supreme Court order cancelling 122 telecom licences issued in 2008.