After poor response to last month's 2G spectrum sale, a ministerial panel on telecom today decided to lower the base price by 30 per cent for radiowaves in 1800 Mhz band in four circles, which attracted no bidders, for fresh auction this fiscal.
These four circles -- Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka and Rajasthan -- were some of the most expensive circles in last month's 2G spectrum auction.
"The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) has decided to reduce the reserve price by 30 per cent in the four circles in 1800 MHz band, where the spectrum remained unsold," a top source said.
The reserve price for last month's sale per block in Delhi was Rs 693.06 crore, while the same for Mumbai, Karnataka and Rajasthan was fixed at Rs 678.45 crore, Rs 330.12 crore and Rs 67.08 crore respectively.
The EGoM also decided to auction spectrum in 900 MHz band in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata simultaneously with sale of radiowaves in 1800 Mhz.
"The EGoM met today and we have decided to auction the 1800 MHz band in four circles -- Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka and Rajasthan -- and 900 MHz band in Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.
He added that a decision on the pricing has been taken and "we will now be moving the Cabinet for the approval on the pricing and we have also decided that we will complete the auction process within this financial year."
Sibal said no decision has been taken on the auction of airwaves in 800 Mhz band.
The much-hyped 2G mobile phone spectrum auction was virtually a flop as the government managed to garner bids worth just Rs 9,407 crore as against a minimum target of Rs 28,000 crore.
Compared to the 3G auction, which lasted 35 days and got Rs 67,719 crore, the latest round of 2G spectrum auction held in November lasted just two days.