DoT to put off auction of 3G spectrum

DoT to put off auction of 3G spectrum

New Delhi: The much-awaited auction of 3G spectrum is likely to be postponed by at least a few weeks as DoT may not get Cabinet’s approval on vital proposals relating to the services -- a move that could delay the start of high-end mobile services like high-speed wireless internet.

According to senior Department of Telecom (DoT) officials, the auctioning of 3G spectrum slated for 16 January may be delayed, as the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is yet to approve the policy.

DoT had decided to take Cabinet’s approval on higher 3G spectrum charge and number of blocks to be auctioned in each circle.

The Telecom Commission had discussed the issue in its meeting on 19 December, the officials said, adding that the decision to go to the Cabinet was taken as a precaution in view of the allegations during the allocation of 2G spectrum and new licences in January this year.

Sources, however, pointed out that in case the approval was delayed beyond January 2009 the entire process of auctioning of 3G spectrum and start of high-end mobile services may get derailed as the government may get into general election mode.