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Govt could be disappointed over spectrum sale outcome: COAI

The five-day spectrum auction has concluded with government minting close to Rs 65,789 crore lower than the expectation of Rs 1 lakh crore.

The premium spectrums – 700 and 900 MHz – did not find any bidders due to expensive base price decided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The government is likely to ask TRAI to re-work on the base price, reports CNBC-TV18’s Prerna Baruha. 

Speaking to CNBC-TV18 Rajan Mathews, DG, COAI, said that the government could be disappointed, but given the economic situation, and operators financial situation, this was expected. He also pointed out that the government should have done some recalibration of its expectations. Results were along expected along lines, he added. He also said that there is such as thing as too much spectrum being put on sale. Auctions are the way the forward, he added.

Sanjay Kapoor, Former CEO of Airtel said that there being no takers for 700 MHz is not because of its high price. “It is a question of diminishing marginal utility,” he said.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, former CEO, BPL Mobile, said that there are many things that drive an auction. The reserve price is one of them. “Evidence suggests that spectrum is something that people do bid for,” he said, adding that there could be another way of looking at the whole thing. Is there deep enough competition for large amounts of spectrum being sold, he asked.

Transcript to follow…