3G auction to be completed by early April

NEW DELHI: The much-awaited 3G auction is to start on 9 April and the BWA auctions will be held two days after the close of the 3G auction.

The notice for inviting auctions will be issued on 25 February and these will close on 19 March.

Details of ownership of the applicants will be published on 26 March and the pre-qualification of bidders will be decided on 30 March.

The mock auctions will be held on 5 and 6 April.
Earlier, Parliament had been informed that the response of domestic telecom service providers was reasonably good, and foreign companies had not been specifically invited for the pre-bid conference on 16 November 2009 relating to prospective 3G and BWA spectrum auction participants.

It was clarified that the Notice Inviting Application (NIA) will address all the concerns expressed during the pre-bid conference.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had in October 2009 issued a Consultation Paper on “Overall Spectrum Management and review of license terms and conditions”. The issues raised in the consultation paper for deliberation include spectrum requirement & availability, licensing issues, merger & acquisition issues, spectrum trading, spectrum sharing, perpetuity of licences, uniform licence fee, spectrum assignment, spectrum pricing and structure for spectrum management.

The Government earned Rs 34.55 billion from spectrum fee during 2008-09 and about Rs 9.17 billion in the first quarter of 2009-10.

Spectrum fee is charged as a percentage of the Adjusted Gross Revenue of the telecom service providers and is regulated by the Trai.

Detailed guidelines for 3G spectrum were issued on 1 August 2008 and some amendments were brought in on 11 September the same year.  
At present, only the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have permission to provide 3G services in the country.

While MTNL and BSNL will not take part in the auction for 3G services in the telecom sector, they will pay the matching price of successful bidders.

While MTNL provides the service in Mumbai and Delhi, BSNL provides the services in 100 cities. One spectrum of 5 MHz has been provided to MTNL in Mumbai and Delhi and BSNL in the 20 service areas.

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