India’s 3G Auction Getting Delayed for 6 Months Longer

3G telecom bidders may have to wait six months longer to start operations. The defence services have asked for 6 months of extra time for testing and security clearances before they vacate the spectrum (20 MHz for 3G and 25 MHz for 2G services) and shift to an optical fibre network that has been developed for them by BSNL. The telecom service provider has committed to handing over the new network by the end of October. This would extend the 3G auction to June 2010 instead of December this year.

DoT has already given 5 MHz of 3G spectrum to state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) for the areas in which they operate.

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DoT has decided to go ahead and put up for bidding four 3G licences per circle, and complete the process by December. It has adequate spectrum for most circles except the Delhi (which has spectrum for just two players), Gujarat (two) and Rajasthan and the north east (none). [source]

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