Trai for hike in 2G base price for next round auction

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Wednesday proposed the hiking of base prices for the next round of 2G spectrum (1800 MHz) auction as permits of cellphone companies are set to expire in the coming months.

Keeping in mind the increasing data usage by consumers, the Telecom regulator recommended a 10 per cent higher base price, which is Rs 2,138 crore per MHz for the 1800 MHz band.

It also suggested Rs 3,004 crore per MHz for the premium 900 MHz band, which covers about twice the area of that covered by 1800 MHz band. The auctions are crucial to India’s top four cellphone operators —Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications— whose permits in some of the service areas are set to expire in the next two years. These operators use frequencies in both bandwidths to provide cellphone services.

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