GSM companies get partial spectrum relief

A ministerial panel on Thursday offered some respite to telecom companies using GSM technology, which can now hope to retain a part of the spectrum in the 900 mega Hertz frequency band instead of the telecom regulator’s suggestion to switch to the 1,800 MHz band that is seen to be less efficient. The flip side is that the reserve price will be higher.
The empowered group of ministers (EGoM), headed by finance minister P Chidambaram, has recommended that telecom companies such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone can retain up to 2.5 MHz spectrum in the most-preferred band, provided they pay a price which will be determined later through auction.
The regulator had pegged the reserve price at over Rs 36,000 crore for spectrum in the 900 MHz band, which was twice the level proposed for 1800 MHz.

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