New Delhi: The Union government would have different base prices while auctioning third generation (3G) radio spectrum, depending on the area, telecom minister A. Raja said.
“Base price will be differentiated according to (telecom) circle, depending on the commercial viability of the services there,” Raja told reporters after making a presentation at the finance ministry on Tuesday evening.
Commercial viability: People at a shop selling mobile phones. Union telecom minister A. Raja has said that the base price of 3G spectrum will be differentiated on the basis of telecom circles. Madhu Kapparath / Mint
A telecom circle is a service area for which operators need to obtain a licence from the government to offer services. Mobile 3G phone services enable high-speed data access, allowing users to surf the Internet or download content, including music and video, at speeds faster than those supported by current cellular technologies.
The department of telecommunications plans to auction frequency for 20 of India’s 22 telecom service areas. The exercise has been delayed after the finance ministry suggested doubling of the starting auction price of Rs2,020 crore.
The minister said that a consensus on the reserve price for auctioning 3G air waves is yet to be reached and that a “a decision will be made in the budget”.
“In connection with the 3G and WiMAX auctions, we assured (the finance minister) of an early rollout, an early auction and more revenue for the government,” Raja said after meeting finance minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier on Tuesday.
WiMAX is a telecommunications technology providing wireless data, voice and video over long distances.
(‘PTI’ contributed to this story.)