Telecom tower (Photo by W Rorrkychand Sing/

900 Mhz Spectrum Auction To See Mega Bids By Telecom Companies

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The stage is set for a mega spectrum auction from March 4, after sustained pressure by carriers to put more airwaves up for sale didn’t yield results. Battle for the cost-efficient 900 Mhz is set to be intense and aggressive, for more than just survival in some circles for operators like Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications.

However, battle for 2,100 Mhz could be less intense, with the Centre assuring more supplies down the line. Also, with the bulk spent on 900MHz, operators fear there may not be much room left to bid to in the fresh 2100MHz band, which is typically used for offering 3G services. The 900 Mhz has been historically used for 2G, but could also be used for 3G under new rules.

For starters, Reliance Communications, India’s No. 4 carrier, doesn’t have alternate spectrum in seven circles for continuing services if it loses its airwaves, while No. 4 Idea Cellular faces a similar situation in one, while Vodafone India is under the gun in four. This means subscribers and the revenue they generate on these networks are up for grabs. Of these, Vodafone has its UK-based moneyed parent’s backing, while Idea and RCom raised funds via share sales recently, and have said they will defend their turf. Original post at ET Telecom

Wahengbam Rorrkychand

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