DoT to open 3G auction to foreigners; MNP from next year

11 Apr 2008

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is reportedly planning to allow foreign players to participate in the forthcoming 3G spectrum auction, and has directed the telecoms regulator TRAI to make the necessary changes to the policy documents. TRAI has objected to the proposal on the basis that it would be difficult for new foreign players to establish a 3G network in the country from scratch. The DoT however, feels that the argument is invalid given the interest from domestic companies not currently operating wireless networks.

In a separate story, the TRAI has given the go-ahead for mobile number portability (MNP) to be launched and has asked the DoT to issue a licence for the establishment of a central clearing agency responsible for controlling and managing the process. According to the proposals, a customer should be able to port their number from one network to another within two hours. TRAI hopes to implement MNP no later than June 2009.