DoT rejects demands for 3G/WiMAX base price increase

6 Jan 2009

India’s Economic Times is reporting that the Department of Communications (DoT) has rejected demands by the finance ministry to increase the base price for both the upcoming 3G and WiMAX auctions. The finance ministry advocated a doubling of the reserve price earlier this week, but it is believed that the DoT has decided against the increase as it believes it could reduce interest in the auction process. The DoT has previously indicated that it has received a poorer than expected response from international companies, with the difficult economic climate cited as one factor that has dissuaded possible bidders. The regulator is also understood to have claimed that any increase in the auction’s base price could translate to higher costs for 3G services for consumers. Despite the DoT’s rejection, it is widely expected that the 3G auction will be delayed from its current date of 30 January, with the law and commerce ministries both rumoured to be considering seeking changes to the country’s 3G policy.