Asia Express - Mobile Communications
India Gives Green Light to 3G Auctions on January 16, 2009, WiMAX to Follow
December 19, 2008
India's DoT (Department of Telecommunications) recently issued an information memorandum, which confirmed that the 3G spectrum auctions will be kicked off on January 16, 2009, the Economic Times of India reported on December 13. The deadline for operators to submit applications is set at January 5, 2009 and the names of qualified bidders will be released on January 9. The duration of the license is 20 years and can be extended by 10 years, according to the Hindu on December 12.

Meanwhile, according to the said memorandum, a separate auction for BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) services, which include technologies such as WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) will be held two days after the 3G auctions are completed, according again to the Economic Times. The DoT stated that three private players would be rewarded the WiMAX spectrum. No specific auction plan was specified for CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) operators though.

Regarding spectrum allocation for 3G auctions, two state-owned telecom operators BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.) and MTNL (Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd.) have been awarded 3G and WiMAX spectrums across most circles without auctioning. Aside from MTNL, only a maximum of two private players can offer 3G services in Delhi and three private players in Mumbai. Rajasthan will have no auction for 3G services due to lack of spectrum, according again to the Hindu.