India's wireless auction reaps billions for govt

Jun 11, 2010 By ERIKA KINETZ , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- India's auction of wireless broadband spectrum has brought in a reported $8 billion in fees which could help plug India's fiscal deficit.

An unlisted company, Infotel, took spectrum across , while market leader Bharti Airtel and U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm each bought spectrum in four geographical areas, the Department of Telecommunications said in a statement Friday.

The Aircel group, which is majority owned by Malaysia's Maxis Communications Berhad, bought in 8 areas. Vodafone and Reliance Communications, the nation's number two and three telecommunications players, didn't take any spectrum.

The 16-day reaped the government 383 billion rupees ($8.2 billion) in fees, the Press Trust of India reported, which it could use - along with the $14.6 billion from a third-generation spectrum auction less than a month ago - to ease India's fiscal burden.

Profit margins are shrinking in India's fast-growing but crowded telecom sector, where 15 operators have driven the cost of calls down to less than 1 cent a minute in some places.

Proposed regulatory changes that would levy hefty fees on existing players and further restrict consolidation among dominant companies have also caused jitters.

The auction for broadband licenses comes less than a month after a much larger auction for crucial third generation spectrum, which operators need to improve call quality and roll out data intensive services to India's 600 million .

Explore further: US proposes pay-for-priority Internet standards (Update 3)

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 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.

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.

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.

India's billion-dollar 3G auction set to open

Apr 08, 2010

In an auction set to open Friday, India's mobile firms will bid billions of dollars to provide superfast third generation (3G) service in the country's booming cellular market.

Recommended for you

Internet TV case: US justices skeptical, concerned

Apr 23, 2014

Grappling with fast-changing technology, U.S. Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether they can protect the copyrights of TV broadcasters to the shows they send out without strangling innovations in ...

Hundreds in Mexico protest telecommunications law

Apr 23, 2014

Hundreds of students and activists marched in Mexico's capital Tuesday to protest a telecommunications law being debated by the Senate that they say will allow the government to arbitrarily censor Internet content.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Google+ boss leaving the company

The executive credited with bringing the Google+ social network to life is leaving the Internet colossus after playing a key role there for nearly eight years.

Facebook woos journalists with 'FB Newswire'

Facebook launched Thursday FB Newswire, billed as an online trove of real-time information for journalists and newsrooms to mine while reporting on events or crafting stories.

Genetic legacy of rare dwarf trees is widespread

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have found genetic evidence that one of Britain's native tree species, the dwarf birch found in the Scottish Highlands, was once common in England.