Indian government sets the ball rolling for 3G networks

1 Aug

After years of keeping things on hold the Indian government today announced the policy for rolling out 3G networks in the country. According to this policy, foreign players will be allowed to bid in auctions for 3G spectrum, provided they fulfil all conditions required for a Universal Access Service License. Depending on spectrum availability, there will be 10 slots available of which three will be reserved for CDMA carriers. Coming to the spectrum bands, CDMA carriers can bid for spectrum in the 450 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz while GSM carriers will bid for 2100 MHz band. Moreover, each carrier can bid for only one slot of 2 X 5 MHz.

Major points outlined in the 3G policy

Spectrum shall be auctioned in blocks of 2X5 MHz in the 2100 MHz band.

The number of blocks to be auctioned may vary from five to 10 depending on availability of spectrum in the circle.

Spectrum shall be auctioned in the 450 MHz, 800 MHz (for EvDO) and 1900 MHz (when available). CDMA carriers can bid for one block of 2X1.25 MHz in the 800 MHz band. The price will be equivalent to the highest winning bid in the 2100 MHz band prorated to a per 2X1.25 MHz price.

Reserve Price for spectrum (for a 2X5 MHz block)

Mumbai, Delhi and category A – Rs 160 crore
Kolkata and category B – Rs 80 crore
Category C – Rs 30 crore

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