New Delhi: India will auction third-generation wireless radio (3G) spectrum by the end of this year, telecom minister Andimuthu Raja said on Monday.
“Definitely... in 2009 itself,” Raja told reporters when asked about the time-frame for the long-awaited 3G auctions.
Raja declined to say how much the government expected to raise through the sale. India was to auction the 3G telecommunications spectrum in January, but the sale was delayed.
The telecoms ministry had earlier expected the auction to raise Rs300 to 400 billion ($6.4 to $8.5 billion), but the finance ministry in February estimated the sale could bring just half of that.
Third-generation services allow voice, data and video to be transmitted at high speeds to wireless devices, and are seen as the next growth driver for telecoms firms in India, the world’s fastest growing mobile market.