All-India 3G spectrum bids reach Rs5,980 cr

All-India 3G spectrum bids reach Rs5,980 cr

New Delhi: Bids for an all-India licence to offer faster wireless services reached Rs5,980 crore on the eighth day of the 3G spectrum auction, according to a statement on the department of telecommunications (DoT) website.

Nine mobile service providers, including Vodafone Essar Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd, are vying for the spectrum to offer 3G services in the world’s second largest wireless market by subscribers.

The government is auctioning spectrum for operating 3G services in India’s 22 designated telephone zones. It plans to sell 93 licences to provide high-speed data to mobile phones and computers that may raise an estimated Rs50,000 crore.

The Internet-based auction could take as long as two weeks, according to Dan Maldoom, an economist at DotEcon Ltd, one of the two advisers to the government. NM Rothschild and Sons Ltd is the other adviser.

A pan-India licence could cost bidders as much as $200 crore, Macquarie Group Ltd’s regional head of telecommunications research Shubham Majumder estimated on 7 April.

The government will issue daily updates on the bidding and all data collected from bidders will be made public after the auction is over.

The amount for an all-India licence does not include the states of Assam, Orissa and Jammu and Kashmir, which have received no bids so far.