No decision on M & A, spectrum pricing

Though M&A, spectrum pricing and priority of allocation of spectrum were discussed in the meeting, no final decision has been taken. The Commission will again meet on December 1, Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar told reporters here.

With the Department of Telecom (DoT) keen to finalise the National Telecom Policy, 2011, some of the key issues like M&A and spectrum pricing should be resolved immediately so that it can be included in the policy.

Earlier this month, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had sent its recommendation on all these issues to the DoT, which had sought clarifications from the regulator, before finalising the NTP 2011.

While standing by its recommendation of over six-fold jump in the 2G spectrum price, the Trai had left the decision for levying a one-time charge for additional spectrum beyond the contracted limit of 6.2 Mhz to the government.

On the controversy of 3G roaming, the Secretary said that the DoT had already obtained legal opinion and will soon hold a meeting with service providers before taking any decision.

The DoT in its internal note has said that the roaming agreement among telecom companies for 3G services would lead to significant loss of revenue for the government.
Recently, the chiefs of three leading telecom firms — Airtel Bharti, Idea and Vodafone — in a joint letter had sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention in the dispute over 3G roaming pact, or else they threatened to surrender spectrum.

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