DoT plans to auction for 3G spectrum

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India has decided to go for open auction of spectrum for 3G services, including mobile services, which will provide high-speed data over the Internet to users.

Communications Minister A Raja stated that initially three operators are expected to be given spectrum of up to 10 MHz each and both 2G operators, including current services provider and new players including foreign companies can bid for 3G spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band. Special agency will conduct an e-auction for 3G spectrum. The lowest bid will become the base price for the subsequent round of bidding for the remaining players. After accepting the recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), DoT has still some stiff conditions. Besides the initial one-time spectrum, successful operators will also have to pay an additional spectrum charge of 0.5 per cent of revenue, which will be increased to 1 per cent after three years. CDMA service providers can also avail of 1.25 MHz of spectrum, which is still available in the 800 MHz band to offer 3G services at an amount proportionate to the highest bid for spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band. DoT also issued guidelines to boost broadband wireless services. Under this, each service provider will be allotted 10 MHz, again through open auction in the 2.5 GHz band.