India not delaying 3G telecom auction - official

India not delaying 3G telecom auction - official

New Delhi: India will not delay its planned multi-bilion dollar auction of next-generation wireless spectrum because of the global financial crisis, a telecoms ministry spokesman said.

“We are sticking to our schedule. As has been told before, the auction process should finish by 15 January," said Akshay Rout, additional director general at India’s telecoms ministry.

In August, the government outlined guidelines for a global auction of radio spectrum for third-and fourth-generation (3G and 4G) wireless services to be held by December, from which it hoped to raise up to Rs400 billion ($8 billion).

Media reports said Vodafone, whose unit is India’s third-largest mobile operator, had requested the auction be delayed until early 2009 because of the financial crisis.