India 3G auction to be held on schedule: minister

December 11, 2009
A man talks on his mobile phone in front a government telecommunication billboard in New Delhi in October 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'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.

"The ministry has not changed the auction date" set for January 14, Telecommunications Minister A. Raja said in New Delhi on the sidelines of a communications industry event.

The statement came after the ministry missed a deadline earlier in the week for issuing invitations to take part in the auction to allow service, fuelling media speculation the sale could be postponed.

The ministry said afterward the invitation to take part in the auction was "being fine-tuned" and would be issued soon.

The auction has already been delayed twice.

Asked about the number of 3G slots to be auctioned, Raja replied that a senior panel of ministers "will decide on the number of slots."

The defence ministry has said it is unable to release some of the airwaves needed for the auction, which could reduce the number of slots up for sale.

On Thursday, the Press Trust of reported the government had only sufficient spectrum to sell 3G licences to three private operators rather than the four originally planned.

Slots have already been awarded to state-run firms MTNL and BSNL.

The government has said it aims to raise 250 billion rupees (5.38 billion dollars) from the sale of pan-India 3G spectrum and Wimax wireless broadband.

It hopes to use the money to help plug a fiscal deficit that is the biggest in nearly two decades.

The auction is set to put India's -- the fastest growing in the world -- on track for a new level of wireless telephony, experts say.

Third-generation would allow high-speed Internet, video downloads and other sophisticated media services on cellular telephones.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: India misses deadline for 3G auction

Related Stories

India misses deadline for 3G auction

December 9, 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 says will start 3G auction in January

October 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.

FCC wireless auction begins June 29

February 2, 2006

The Federal Communications Commission will auction advanced wireless service (AWS) licenses for the United States in late June.

Recommended for you

'Droneboarding' takes off in Latvia

January 22, 2017

Skirted on all sides by snow-clad pine forests, Latvia's remote Lake Ninieris would be the perfect picture of winter tranquility—were it not for the huge drone buzzing like a swarm of angry bees as it zooms above the solid ...

Singapore 2G switchoff highlights digital divide

January 22, 2017

When Singapore pulls the plug on its 2G mobile phone network this year, thousands of people could be stuck without a signal—digital have-nots left behind by the relentless march of technology.

Making AI systems that see the world as humans do

January 19, 2017

A Northwestern University team developed a new computational model that performs at human levels on a standard intelligence test. This work is an important step toward making artificial intelligence systems that see and understand ...

Firms push hydrogen as top green energy source

January 18, 2017

Over a dozen leading European and Asian firms have teamed up to promote the use of hydrogen as a clean fuel and cut the production of harmful gasses that lead to global warming.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.