DoT awaiting nod from Law Ministry for 3G auction

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New Delhi: The Department of Telecom has sought legal opinion from the law ministry on the schedule and guidelines for auction of 3G spectrum, reports PTI.

The Law Ministry is likely to take time in examining some of the new clauses proposed by the DoT. According to sources, DoT has put in a clause of compensation for the winning bidders as per which if they don't get the spectrum within the allotted time, they will be entitled for the compensation with interests. This is said to be under the scanner of the Law Ministry.

The lack of a level-playing field is also an issue as there is no auction being planned as of now for the CDMA-based 3G services (EVDO), which the law ministry is believed to be closely looking at. Also, the DoT is awaiting the Law Ministry's approval before issuing Notice Inviting Application (schedule and guidelines) to the telecom players to participate in the auction of spectrum.

The DoT is also learnt to have written to the Finance and Defence Ministries seeking their views on NIA. It has also sought an assurance from defence on release of spectrum. A DoT official said that they were waiting to hear from the Law Ministry as the NIA is a legal document. He, however did not offer any comment on the new clauses added to it.

The issue of the number of slots to be auctioned is still under discussion, as operators, who would win pan-India license, will need an assurance that there would be no dearth of spectrum in any of the circles.

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