New Delhi: Fresh from winning the confidence vote in Parliament, the UPA government is all set to usher in next generation (3G) mobile services and will soon announce guidelines for the same.
“We will be announcing the policy for 3G and WiMax broadband services very soon,” Communication and IT Minister A Raja told PTI.
He, however, did not give any time frame, but officials said that since changes suggested by sector regulator TRAI had already been incorporated, the policy should be made public within a week or two.
TRAI had, on 11 July, recommended a minimum price of Rs60 crore to acquire spectrum through auction for offering 3G and wireless broadband services in metro cities.
The regulator had said that besides reserve price, the operator would have to give a performance bank guarantee based on the circle.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) sources said that foreign players would be allowed to participate in the auctioning of 3G spectrum and new licenses would be issued to successful foreign players.
The government is hoping to garner up to Rs40,000 crore through auctioning of 3G spectrum (radio frequency) and all the existing telecom players like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone- Essar, Idea Cellular and other new players are expected to participate in auction along with foreign players.
According to officials, the financial bids for spectrum would be invited by the end of next month and the process is likely to be completed by October this year enabling the players to start rolling out networks by the end of 2008.
Asked how many players are likely to be issued 3G licenses, the officials said that it would depend on the quantum of spectrum available with the government.
Senior officials said that DoT was also talking to defence ministry for vacating spectrum and would decide on number of licenses to be issued.
TRAI had earlier endorsed DoT’s suggestion of revising the reserve price of 3G spectrum upward and the same would be considered in the Telecom Commission in its next meeting, they said.