India plans new auction for 1800MHz spectrum

India’s last airwaves auction yielded only a quarter of its 400 billion rupees target and ministers are now planning another auction for unsold airwaves in the 1800MHz band.

Airwaves will be sold in Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka and Rajasthan, during the fiscal year ending in March. Ministers are hoping the sale of phone airwaves will go some way in addressing widening fiscal debt.

Telecoms minister, Kapil Sibal, also said the government would auction unsold airwaves in the 1800MHz band in three zones; Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Sibal made no comment on the auction reserve prices.

However, government officials did say there should be a 30% cut in the reserve price of airwaves in the four zones and the 900MHz should cost twice that of the 1800MHz band.

2G phone airwaves were re-sold last month, after the country’s Supreme Court cancelled permits granted in 2008.

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