3G auction process delayed to 30 January, may fall further back

5 Jan 2009

According to the Financial Times, India’s upcoming 3G auctions look set for yet another delay, having only recently been pushed back to 30 January. The initial delay, from 15 January, came as a result of requests from potential bidders for more time to prepare for the process. The finance ministry has now recommended that the base price for the auctions be doubled from the previously agreed INR20.2 billion (USD412 million) for pan-India spectrum allocation. It is also recommending a doubling of the base price for WiMAX spectrum. Reports indicate that that the ministry has called on the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to resubmit its auction proposal for reconsideration next week. The move comes as the ministry believes that more revenue could be generated from the auctions, with demand for the spectrum expected to be high, particularly in India’s main cities.