Telecom Companies apply for fresh 2G auction in November

 Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Telenor are some of the telecom companies which Friday submitted applications to the Department of Telecom (DoT) for participating in the 2G auction next month.

Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), which operates its services under the MTS brand, however, said it will not participate in the auction as it is awaiting a decision on its curative petition filed in the Supreme Court.

“SSTL has consistently maintained that it has been unfairly penalised in the February ruling of the Supreme Court and has filed a curative petition seeking to restore its licences,” SSTL said.

“SSTL was the only operator to have applied for a pan-India CDMA spectrum in 2008. There is no finding or suggestion by the CAG report that CDMA spectrum was equally or anywhere near in demand as GSM,” the company added, suggesting that it has a strong case and would prefer to wait.

The operator stands to lose 21 of its licences following the Feb 2 Supreme Court’s order quashing 122 licences issued during the tenure of former Telecom Minister A. Raja. The apex court had asked the government to redistribute the licences through an auction process.

Norway’s Telenor said it has submitted an application but a final decision on whether or not to participate will be taken before the auction starts.

The application was filed by Telewings Communication Services Private Limited, a fully owned Telenor Group company.

Vodafone too said it has filed the application without disclosing any further details.

Sources at Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular also confirmed that the companies have filed their applications.

Among other players who did not submit their applications for participation was Reliance Communications.

Friday was the last date for companies to submit their application to participate in the auction, which is scheduled to start from November 12.

DoT had Sep 28 issued the notice inviting applications. The final list of bidders will be announced Nov 6.

This will be followed by a mock auction Nov 7 and 8 and thereafter the e-auction of 1800 MHz band will take place Nov 12.

The start of e-auction of 800 MHz band will happen two days after close of the 1800 MHz band auction.

The payment of the successful bid amount will have to be done within 10 days of the close of the respective e-auctions.