The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has turned down a review of the reserve price for FM Phase III auctions that have been recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
TRAI had proposed the change after several FM operators and new stakeholders told the regulator that the auction price is too high. TRAI felt that this would jeopardise the auctions. As is known, several broadcasters have opposed the Phase III reserve fee formula (highest bid of Phase II).
Meanwhile, MIB has pointed out to TRAI that a Group of Ministers had fixed the reserve price, which was then approved by the Union Cabinet.
Phase III, which is expected to commence from October 2014, will see the auction of 839 FM channels across 294 cities.
On the other hand, MIB has accepted TRAI’s recommendation of allowing 15-year licence period for operators migrating from Phase II to Phase III as against the 10 years of licence provided by FM Phase II.