The Department of Telecommunications will conduct auctions for 3G spectrum across 22 telecom circles in the country on January 14, 2010 a pre-bid conference would be held on November 16, 2009.
The 3G spectrum will be auctioned in four stages invitation stage, pre-qualification, auction and grant of spectrum and a mock auction will be conducted on January 11 and 12.
The memorandum also gives details of the spectrum charges the successful bidders will have to shell out over the spectrum acquisition fee. An annual spectrum charge will be levied on the total adjusted gross revenue of 2G and 3G services taken together.The government has also relaxed External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) guidelines up to $500 million to finance spectrum acquisition fees, while it had decided to hold a separate auction for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA).
The DoT will also auction one block for telephony services on code division multiple access, or CDMA, technology.
Indian companies holding licenses to offer telephony services would be allowed to bid for 3G bandwidth. Companies that don’t have a license to offer telephony services in India will be allowed to bid, but will have to procure a license before they commercially launch 3G services.
DoT has mandated a roll-out obligation of covering 90 per cent of areas in the metros within a 5-year period of spectrum allocation.There would be moratorium of one year on the payment of annual spectrum charges for standalone 3G operators, while existing operators with 2G and 3G spectrum will not enjoy any moratorium.
Foreign telecom companies that don’t have telecom operations in India may bid directly or through a majority-owned subsidiary. Such companies–if they win the bid–would have to procure a license to offer telephony services in India before they commercially launch 3G.
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