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COAI upbeat on TRAI’s 3G spectrum price recommendations

New Delhi, January 1: The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) on Thursday said it is satisfied with the price recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for 2100 megahertz (MHz) of 3G spectrum auction. “We are happy that TRAI has taken into consideration the broad requirements for the development of progressive telecommunications eco–system in the country. It is essential that the fundamental resource of spectrum is augmented so as to support this objective, which is common to the government as well as the industry.

“Overall, we are happy with the approach of the regulator in acknowledging the needs for an emerging mobile broadband network in the country,” COAI director general Rajan S. Mathews said in a statement. COAI is the GSM body in the country. The TRAI has recommended a base price of Rs.2,720 crore per MHz for 2100 MHz spectrum for the 22 telecom circles in the country. It has also reiterated its suggestion 2100 MHz band spectrum should be auctioned along with other bands (800, 900 and 1800MHz), in February 2015. The sector regulator also recommended that that the roll–out obligations that were mandated in the 2010 auctions for spectrum in the 2,100 MHz band should be applicable for the upcoming auction of 2,100 MHz band but a period of three years (instead of five years) should be prescribed to meet these obligations. At this, the COAI said: “At the same time, we feel that a reduced period of three years for completion of roll–out obligations may be strenuous for the operators as roll–outs consist of various aspects including developing the requisite infrastructure, which may pose a challenge for such a short period.”  (IANS)

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