Ball to start rolling for 3G spectrum auction on Thursday
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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 22:00
New Delhi: Finally starting the process to auction 3G spectrum to potential telecom operators, the government is likely to issue guidelines giving details about the number of blocks to be sold and other related information.

Sources close to the development said that the Department of Telecom (DoT) has finalised the details and is likely to permit only four private players in five circles while three private operators in the rest of India. There are 22 circles across the country.

They, however, declined to name the circles having four private players for 3G mobile telephone services.

Telecom Minister A Raja is understood to called a meeting of senior DoT officials today and decided to invite applications from the operators tomorrow.

Sources said the Notice Inviting Applications (guidelines) will also clear the DoT's views on inviting foreign telecom firms to participate in the 3G spectrum auction and they are likely to be allowed to operate as stand-alone 3G operators here.

The government has earmarked up to Rs 35,000 crore from the sale of spectrum in the current financial year and major part of this would have to come from the auction of 3G airwaves.

Sources said that differences between Telecom and Defence ministries have been ironed out and spectrum will be given to all the winners simultaneously in September this year but the full payment would have to be made within March this year.


First Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 22:00

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