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Govt defers mega spectrum auction to Oct 1

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NEW DELHI: The Indian government has deferred to Oct 1, 2016 mega sale of mobile frequencies that are aimed at ushering in quality telecoms services, including 4G services capable of delivering hi-speed broadband speed for easy video delivery.

"For start of the auction 29th September READ start of the auction 1st October," PTI quoted a revised government communication inviting application for spectrum auction as saying.

As per an earlier schedule, bids for airwaves was scheduled to start from September 29 that fell during the 'shradh' period considered inauspicious to start new ventures as Indians pay homage to departed souls during this period.

Telecom operators had demanded that the spectrum sale, which is the biggest ever auction, should begin with the start of Navratra festival, considered auspicious, the PTI report states.

Department of Telecoms (DoT) has put on the block a total of 2,354.55 megahertz of mobile frequencies for auction in bandwidths of 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz.

All the radiowaves being put for auction can be used for high speed 4G services.

Recently during Vidnet2016, an OTT-specific conference organised by Indiantelevision, Star India’s chief of digital initiative (Hotstar) Ajit Mohan had opined that for platforms like Hotstar high data cost and low quality bandwidth were major challenges.

At base price, the sale of all spectrum would fetch bids worth Rs 5.63 lakh crore. Of this, spectrum in premium 700 Mhz band alone has potential to attract bids of Rs 4 lakh crore.

Industry experts, however, have cast doubts over success of the spectrum auction due to high base price of mobile airwaves, but DoT has expressed confidence saying buyers of airwaves in the most expensive frequency band 700 Mhz would be able to save 70 per cent of the cost they will spend on rolling out infrastructure, the PTI reports states.

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