Nine telecom operators bid for 3G auctions in India

in Blog, 2G, India, 3G, LTE, UMTS

Nine telecom operators, including market leaders Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications, have applied for radio frequency spectrum to provide third generation (3G) telephony.

“Nine companies have applied for 3G,” a department of telecommunications (DoT) official said here Friday, the last day for submitting applications.

For broadband services, the department has received applications from 11 companies, including Bharti Airtel, Qualcomm, Tata Communications, Tikona and Vodafone.

The 3G auctions are scheduled to begin on April 9 and the services will start from September 1.

The government hopes to garner Rs.35,000 crore ($7.69 billion) from the spectrum auction that will begin next month.

According to the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for 3G spectrum auction, of the 22 circles only five states – Punjab, Bihar, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir – will have four private players.

The auction of 3G spectrum had been postponed several times as among other things there was indecisiveness over the availability of spectrum and the number of operators to be allowed in each circle.

The Department of Telecom was also at loggerheads with the Defence Ministry over the latter's reluctance to vacate the designated spectrum (air waves) for commercial use.

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