Ravi Shankar

All Available Spectrum To Be Put Up For Sale: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said all airwaves currently available for commercial use have been put on sale, as he defended the government against the charge that it had deliberately chosen to auction a limited quantity of 3G spectrum in order to drive bidding levels higher.

“In spite of availability constraints, our intention was to make the biggest quantity of spectrum available for auctions so the whole issue of operational problems gets sorted out under a transparent mechanism. I was aware of the concerns in the market about licence expiry,” Prasad told ETin an exclusive interview.The minister’s comments came on a day the government was under fire for its decision to auction only 5 units per circle of high-speed broadband 3G airwaves.

This can accommodate one carrier, instead of the widely expected 15 Mhz which could have accommodated three more carriers.

“The decision to delay the release of the larger chunk of 2100 spectrum clearly shows a commercial approach of maximising asset values by not supplying all spectrum at once,” Credit Suisse said in a note post the Cabinet’s Monday decisions on the sale. Original post at ET Telecom

Wahengbam Rorrkychand

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