3G auction faces fresh delay

25 Nov 2009

According to reports India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is once again preparing to delay the date for its long-delayed 3G auction. The Economic Times claims that the move by the regulator to push back the sale date once again comes as a result of continued difficulties in coordinating the release, and subsequent management, of spectrum by the armed forces. The country’s Defence Ministry agreed to a spectrum vacation timetable in June 2009, and is expected to release 25MHz of 3G spectrum by 7 December. However, concerns have been raised about the time required for working out the specific frequencies or sub-bands that can be assigned to operators. It is understood that the sale date could be pushed back to mid-February 2009.

Further, another potential cause of delay is reported to be demands from industry players that the auction only take place after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issues its recommendations on a number of policy issues, including the methodology to be adopted for allotting 2G spectrum. Such proposals are not expected to be released until at least end-December.