India's telecom auction raises 25% of target

Nov 14, 2012
Two men check their mobile phones while standing in front of an advertisement for a cellular network in Mumbai in September. India's government announced on Wednesday it had raised one-quarter of what it expected from an auction of mobile spectrum that telecom industry critics said had been overpriced.

India's government announced on Wednesday it had raised one-quarter of what it expected from an auction of mobile spectrum that telecom industry critics said had been overpriced.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government hoped to raise 400 billion rupees ($7.2 billion) from the auction of second-generation (2G) spectrum to help close a gaping .

Instead it raised 94 billion rupees and just 35 percent of the airwaves received bids in the auction that ended after two days when offers stopped coming.

"This is a market and that is how it plays itself out," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said after the sale was over, declining to comment further.

The auction was held after the Supreme Court earlier this year cancelled 122 licences for eight firms, saying the 2008 sale of the permits had been tainted by corruption that cost the treasury as much as $39 billion in lost revenues.

A slew of people including a former telecoms minister, senior bureaucrats and , have been charged with corruption over the 2008 sale that has ballooned into one of India's biggest-ever political scandals.

The lacklustre response from to the sale contrasts with the 2010 auction of faster third-generation (3G) mobile airwaves that lasted more than a month in which the government raised over $12 billion.

Two foreign operators—Norway's Telenor and Britain-based —and three local firms—Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Videocon Industries—took part in this week's auction.

Critics said the government-set starting price of 140 billion rupees for a slot embracing all of India's 22 telecom zones—over seven times what companies paid in 2008 for bandwidth—was too expensive and deterred bidders.

Explore further: Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

India says 3G roaming mobile pacts 'illegal'

Dec 22, 2011

India's telecom ministry told mobile phone operators on Thursday that they must scrap "illegal" mutual roaming agreements allowing them to provide seamless nationwide 3G services.

India misses deadline for 3G auction

Dec 09, 2009

India's government has missed a deadline for inviting bidders to take part in its long-awaited auction for third generation (3G) mobile telecom services.

India 3G auction to be held on schedule: minister

Dec 11, 2009

India's long-awaited auction for third generation (3G) mobile telecom services will be held on schedule next month, a minister said Friday, dismissing media speculation of a delay.

India says will start 3G auction in January

Oct 25, 2009

India said Saturday a long-delayed auction of radio bandwidth for third generation (3G) telecommunications services will start in January and will be open to foreign companies.

3G auction earns India 14.6 billion dollars

May 19, 2010

India's auction of 3G bandwidth for mobile telephone services ended Wednesday, with final bids earning the government close to 15 billion dollars -- double its own estimate.

Recommended for you

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

Apr 17, 2014

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...

Quantenna promises 10-gigabit Wi-Fi by next year

Apr 16, 2014

(Phys.org) —Quantenna Communications has announced that it has plans for releasing a chipset that will be capable of delivering 10Gbps WiFi to/from routers, bridges and computers by sometime next year. ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

Apr 16, 2014

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

Apr 16, 2014

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

Apr 15, 2014

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

Apr 14, 2014

Netflix's videos are streaming through Comcast's Internet service at their highest speeds in the past 17 months now that Netflix is paying for a more direct connection to Comcast's network.

User comments : 0

More news stories

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...