India 3G & WiMax auctions moved to December

Ronny Kerr · September 14, 2009 · Short URL:

Key telecommunications licenses, originally set to be sold last January, get new sale date

India has rescheduled its auction of the 3G and WiMax licenses to December, according to an update on the Web site of the Department of Telecommunications, Yahoo Tech reports.

After the government failed to finalize an agreement on the minimum sale value for the mobile phone and wireless Internet broadband licenses, the auction that had been scheduled for January was postponed indefinitely.

Because these are already becoming quite popular technologies the world over, however, it’s beneficial to the country that the government has set these new dates. India is currently the world’s second-largest wireless market, counting number of users, according to Bloomberg.

The original dispute—over what would be the minimum bid total at the auction—has been settled by a group of ministers. According to a statement by India's Minister of Communications, Andimuthu Raja, the minimum revenue from sale of both licenses must be 250 billion Indian rupees (or a little over $5 billion).

Potential bidders, which may include Indian companies or foreign companies, can submit applications up until November 13, but no later. Foreign companies are required to establish joint ventures with investors in India, if they wish to bid alongside Indian companies.

Bharti, India’s largest wireless operator, and Vodafone hope that the new, faster networks will make offering premium services to their customers more feasible—a factor that could greatly reverse slowing revenue growth.¬

The auction for the 3G licenses will begin on December 7 and bidding for the WiMax license will commence two days after the first auction wraps up.

The Department of Telecommunications says participants should check the auction Web site consistently to be aware of potential changes to the schedule.

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