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Sistema Shyam Teleservices asks govt to rethink 800MHz base price

Sistema Shyam Teleservices, the lone operator that uses CDMA technology, on Wednesday, asked the Government to rethink on the base price for 800MHz band spectrum, and has suggested that the reserve price should be at par with the market discovered price of 1800MHz band.
 
In a statement, Sistema Shyam Teleservices said, at such a price one would not find any takers for 800MHz spectrum in the 2015 auctions, given that this price has also been previously tested in the market, way back in November 2012. “We would urge the Government to rethink on the spectrum price for 800MHz band and bring it at par with the market discovered price of 1800MHz,” it added.
 
Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission has in a meeting earlier this week recommended the base price of 800MHz band airwave at Rs 3,646 crore per MHz (pan-Indian), about 17 per cent more than what the Telecom Regulatory of Authority of India (Trai) had recommended last month. Meanwhile, Trai suggested reserve price was about 15 per cent higher than what it had recommended in February. Last month, the regulator had recommended the reserve price to be Rs 3,104 crore, which is 72 per cent higher than the Rs 1,800 crore rate in 2013 auction. 
 

The Telecom Commission has suggested the base price of 1800MHz band radiowave should be Rs 2,191 crore per MHz across 20 telecom zones.
 

“It is not in sync with the business and ecosystem realities. The proposed pricing of Rs 3,646 crore per MHz is way out of line and does not merit a strong business case for buying spectrum in the said band,” Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which operates under MTS brand in India, said in a statement.
 

If such a pricing framework is implemented then it would be seen as going against the spirit of Prime Minister’s vision for Digital India and broadband for all,” the company further added.
 

In January 2013, the Government had reduced the base price of 800MHz band by 50 per cent to Rs 1820 crore per MHz (pan Indian) to attract bidders. However, it just received Sistema Shyam Teleservices as the lone bidder, which has only acquired spectrum in select circles.

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