New Delhi: India will begin a long-delayed auction of third-generation (3G) radio spectrum on 14 January, the telecoms ministry said on Saturday.
Firms have to submit bids by 21 December for a total of 71 blocks of spectrum put up for auction across 20 of India’s 22 telecoms zones, according to a memorandum to prospective bidders.
The auction, which would introduce high-speed Internet and video downloads on mobile phones, was originally slated for January 2009 but was deferred to December after differences between the telecoms and finance ministries over the reserve price for the bids.
The government did not give a reason for the second extension.
The base price for 3G spectrum across the country is Rs35 billion ($750 million), and telecoms minister Andimuthu Raja has said that the government would net at least Rs250 billion from the sale.