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India 3G auction pushes in December

Posted: 16 Sep 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:India 3G  3G auction  WiMAX 

India is planning to stage its long-awaited 3G wireless spectrum auction on Dec. 7, followed by bidding for EVDO and WiMAX spectrum two days after completion of 3G auctions.

A mock auction is scheduled for Dec. 3-4, according to a notification by the Department of Telecommunications issued on Sept. 13.

The agency also will issue an information memorandum on Sept. 29 addressing security concerns requiring applicants to provide ownership details along with compliance certificates to ensure no surprises during auction process.

Applicants must provide details of their ownership by Nov. 13.

The base price for a 3G licence was fixed at about Rs.3,791.94 crore ($780 million) last month. Both Indian and overseas companies can bid, but outside bidders must have Indian partners, according to auction rules.

Successful bidders must pay the bid deposit amount within five days, and the remainder within 15 days. Four 3G slots of 5MHz each are being auctioned to private companies, while one slot has already been allotted to two state-run companies, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.

Both companies have already started offering 3G services, but have been able to attract only about 2,000 subscribers each. The state-run enterprises will pay an amount equal to the highest bid during the December auction.

Three 20MHz slots at a reserve price of about Rs.1,701.51 crore ($350 million) and one 2X1.25MHz slot of EVDO spectrum priced at about Rs.875.06 crore ($180 million) are on the block in each region open for bidding. While carriers have been conducting pilot tests for some time, services are not expected to arrive until next year.

- K.C. Krishnadas
TechOnline India

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