DoT to finalise firm to develop spectrum auction software by March 6

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NEW DELHI: The telecom department has again deferred the last date to March 6, 2020 for selection of auctioneer to pick software developer for the proposed Rs 5.22 trillion spectrum auction. This is the second time that the government has shifted the last date.

The department has shortlisted C1 India Pvt Ltd based in Harayana, mjunction Services, MSTC Limited based in Kolkata, and e-Procurement Technologies based out of Ahmedabad for technical round, which is now scheduled for February 17.

Financial bids of qualified firms will open on February 28 and the auctioneer will be finalised on March 6. Earlier, the DoT had plans to finalise auctioneer by January 26 but deferred it to February 4 and now March 6.

The delay is likely to push spectrum auction to July-August this year, according to sources. mjunction and e-Procurement Technologies have experience to design module for spectrum auction.

While the government is gearing up to conduct spectrum auction, telecom operators have raised alarm on high base price suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

Bharti Airtel has already said that it will not bid for 5G spectrum at the current proposed price of Rs 492 crore per megahertz. Vodafone Idea on the other hand is facing critical situation on its survival in the wake of the Supreme Court order.

However, both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea will need to bid for spectrum in 8 circles where their right to use spectrum is expiring.

Bharti Airtel has liability to clear nearly Rs 35,586 crore, including licence fee and spectrum usage charge dues. Vodafone Idea is staring at unpaid statutory dues of Rs 53,038 crore, including Rs 24,729 crore of spectrum dues and Rs 28,309 crore in licence fee.

The DoT has already opined against participation of BSNL and MTNL in the spectrum auction.

Source: Press Trust of India