India announces 2G auction details, Pakistan to delay 3G auction

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released fresh guidelines ahead of the country’s 2G (re)auction, after the Supreme Court of India cancelled the 122 licences that were awarded in 2008.

The consultation paper follows draft guidelines that were issued last month, and aims to simplify licensing rules, encourage mergers and acquisition and provide greater transparency in the spectrum allocation process.

“The key issues raised in the consultation paper are quantum of spectrum to be auctioned, liberalisation of the spectrum, refarming of spectrum in 800/900MHz bands, structure of auction, spectrum block size, eligibility criteria for participating in the auction, reserve price, roll out obligations, spectrum usage charges and spectrum trading,” said Rajeev Agrawal, secretary at TRAI.

He added that the body is inviting comments on the issues raised in the paper from the stakeholders by March 21, 2012.

Meanwhile, across the border, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has delayed its 3G spectrum auction, which was due to be held on March 29, 2012,  due to “great interest shown by operators through their representatives in World Mobile Congress”.

The PTA said that the delaye will allow operators more time and room to plan.

“The current schedule of Mobile Cellular Auction is under review. Fresh dates will be posted in due course of time,” the body said on its website.

According to the initial plans, the 3G licenses will be valid for 8 to 15 years, with a mandatory $31.5m deposit for bidders.

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