India’s Telecom Commission, composed of civil servants, is pushing for higher reserve prices of mobile phone spectrum. Their recommendation for 1800 MHz and 900 MHz prices are respectively 15% and 25% higher than what the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested for auction. India plans to conduct its next mobile phone spectrum auction in January 2014 to fork out estimated 110 billion rupees. In September the TRAI has suggested to slash the auction reserve prices up to 65% after most of the operators have stayed away from bidding in the previous two auctions due to high reserve price. The Telecom Commission has, however, suggested to increase the spectrum prices by sweetening with attractive mergers allowance of a combined market share of up to 50% instead of the current 35% cap.
The Business Standard, 27 January 2009 The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to provide wireless broadband in rural areas. Under the MoU, BSNL will provide wireless broadband at 29,000 rural exchanges throughout the country. Each exchange will have 31 connections along with one kiosk for public use. A DoT official said, “Out of these 31 connections, 6 will be used by institutions like schools, while the rest will be for individual users.” The implementation of the entire project is expected to be completed by 2011.