NEW DELHI, Jan 7 (Reuters) - An Indian ministerial panel on
Monday recommended a 30 percent or 50 percent cut in the base
price in an auction of airwaves currently used by
telecommunication carriers operating on Code Division Multiple
Access technology, two senior government officials said.
India auctioned airwaves in November after a court order to
revoke permits of several cellular carriers and redistribute
airwaves through an open bidding. But the auction did not see
any takers for CDMA airwaves, while only part of the airwaves
for the more popular GSM services were sold.
The government had earlier set the reserve price of CDMA
airwaves at 1.3 times GSM airwaves, a price that was criticised
by operators as too high. The price was set at 36.4 billion
rupees ($660 million) per megahertz of spectrum for all of
India's 22 telecommunication zones.
The CDMA airwave auction is crucial for the Indian mobile
phone unit of Russia's Sistema, which has been ordered
to shut operations in all but one of India's 22 zones by Jan. 18
as it did not win back airwaves in the last auction.