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3G phone licence auctions likely by March end: Raja

3G phone licence auctions likely by March end: Raja
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First Published: Tue, Feb 17 2009. 11 39 PM IST

Radio waves: Communications minister Andimuthu Raja says the election code of conduct will not be applicable to the auctions. Pankaj Nangia / Bloomberg
Radio waves: Communications minister Andimuthu Raja says the election code of conduct will not be applicable to the auctions. Pankaj Nangia / Bloomberg
Updated: Tue, Feb 17 2009. 11 39 PM IST
New Delhi: The government expects to hold the auction for radio frequencies to offer third-generation, or 3G, high-speed mobile-phone services by 31 March, communications minister Andimuthu Raja said on Tuesday.
The government will form a panel of ministers on the third-generation phone services this week, Raja said in New Delhi.
Radio waves: Communications minister Andimuthu Raja says the election code of conduct will not be applicable to the auctions. Pankaj Nangia / Bloomberg
“The code of conduct that comes into force with the announcement of election dates won’t be applicable to the auctions,” he said.
General election need to be held by May as the term of the current government comes to an end. Election dates haven’t been announced as yet.
The government won’t be able to predict the revenue it will get from the bids for the 3G licences, Raja said.
The minister also said state-run telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd will start 3G telecom services by the end of February.
BSNL is India’s second largest telecom firm after Bharti Airtel Ltd in total subscriber base, but in the fast-growing mobile telephony segment it is ranked fourth.
The defence forces would shortly release 15 MHz of radio waves for mobile services, soon after the department of telecommunications and the defence ministry sign an agreement.
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Subramaniam Sharma of ‘Bloomberg’ and ‘PTI’ contributed to this story.
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First Published: Tue, Feb 17 2009. 11 39 PM IST
More Topics: Government | 3G | A Raja | Telecom | Group of Ministers |