NEW DELHI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The Indian cabinet approved a
50 percent cut in the auction reserve price for airwaves used by
phone carriers operating on the CDMA (Code Division Multiple
Access) technology platform, said Manish Tewari, the minister of
information and broadcasting.
The decision follows a recommendation by a panel of
ministers to cut the price by 30 percent or 50 percent, after
the government did not find any taker for the airwaves in a
November auction, with carriers complaining the price was too
The government had earlier set the reserve price of CDMA
airwaves at 36.4 billion rupees ($660 million) per megahertz of
spectrum in all of India's 22 telecommunication zones, which was
30 percent higher than the minimum auction price for airwaves
used by operators on the popular GSM platform.
The government plans to conduct the next airwave auction in
March. The auction is crucial for the Indian mobile phone unit
of Russia's Sistema, which has been ordered by the
Supreme Court to shut operations in all but one of the country's
22 telecommunications zones.