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FM radio Phase III ‘partial auctions’ to be announced soon

MUMBAI: Taking the long pending issue of the FM radio Phase III auctions a step ahead, the government is all set to announce the method of ‘partial auctions’ within this week.

Sources tell that as part of the procedure, the government will first announce the ‘partial auctions’ wherein the frequencies remaining in Phase II of expansion will be opened up for bidding.

Around 97 channels of Phase II where bidding was scheduled on city basis but was not done will be announced soon. The cities did not qualify earlier as they did not meet the high reserve price for that section of cities.

All such bidding must now be done on city level under Phase III.

The number of channels identified for auction/ allotment in some cities was reduced because of constraints of frequency availability. It was provided that the decision would be taken later based on the availability of the frequencies in these cities, TRAI had stated in a consultation paper earlier.

The source adds that an official statement on the same is expected within this week. The auctions of these cities will determine when the new cities of Phase III will be up for auction.

The source also confirmed that the process of adding new cities as per the 2011 census is in process and could take up to three months.