New Delhi: A panel of Indian ministers Wednesday approved roll-out obligations for successful bidders, but failed to take any decision on reserve price for the upcoming auction of second-generation (2G) mobile telephony radio bandwidth, Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said.
"We did decide on the issue of roll out obligations and under the new proposal, for those who acquire spectrum, whether they are existing or new players, the roll our obligation would be to cover 10% of the block headquarter in the third year, 20% of the blocks in the fourth year and 30% in the fifth year. This will apply naturally in the circles in which they operate spectrum," he said, after the inter-ministerial group meeting, headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram.
The EgoM, Sibal said, will meet again Friday to decide on spectrum pricing.
In April, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had proposed an auction base price of Rs 36.22 billion for 1 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum in the 1,800 MHz bandwidth, about 10-times the price of Rs 3.8 billion during the 2008 sale.
The panel in the earlier meets deferred a decision on the base price as the telecom regulator failed to submit its full report on the price recommendation and its impact on customers and the industry.
A high base price for spectrum auction has caused disquiet among the telecom service providers, who have warned that the move may lead to a 100% hike in tariffs.
Meanwhile, the telecom regulator in the July 13 presentation on 'impact analysis' to the EGoM said that tariff hike will only be in the range of 5-10 paise per minute, as against industry projections of a tariff impact of 50 paise to Rs 1 per minute.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid told CNBC-TV18 that the EGoM may also decide on Supreme Court of India's deadline of August 31 on July 20.
According to media reports, the EGoM has approved the Department of Telecommunications' proposal to issue final document containing details of the sale of 2G spectrum only on August 22, instead of August 6.
This has created uncertainty over whether the government will be able to meet the Supreme Court deadline to auction the spectrum.