Coimbatore: The much-awaited auction of radio waves for third generation mobile phone services, or 3G, is expected to garner at least Rs 25,000 crore from private bidders, Communications and IT Minister A Raja said here on Saturday.
"As the Government has decided to hold the auction by February end, it is expecting to fetch the amount as a one-time payment from the bidders," he told reporters here.
The government expects to garner Rs 35,000 crore from sale of spectrum in this fiscal.
Raja, who was here to launch the 3G services of BSNL in Coimbatore and Nilgiris districts, said efforts are on to bring in the technology that would allow 2G sim card holders to use the services as well.
India was expected to action the 3G spectrum in this month, but the telecom ministry put off the auction to February end. The government wants to auction to be carried out before the union budget so that the amount earned through auction would ease its deficit pressure.
Fiscal deficit is expected to be 6.8 percent of the gross domestic product for 2009-10.
Asked about launching 4G services, he said the International Telecom Union was opposed to it and there were also certain technological problems.
"However, the services are expected in a year and it will not have any adverse impact on 3G," he said.
On BSNL`s declining market share, particularly landlines, Raja said BSNL has 2.5 lakh workers and unlike other players has more rural exchanges.
"BSNL has not just a commercial motive but a larger social responsibility, for which it has to penetrate rural areas," he said.
He said modalities were being worked on to simplify procedures in calling for tenders, one of the reasons for delays in implementation of projects in the public sector.
He also noted that intense competition had led to private players demanding a minimum tariff to survive in the market.