Govt may hold auction of 3G spectrum between 7-10 Jan

Govt may hold auction of 3G spectrum between 7-10 Jan

New Delhi: The government will hold auction of 3G spectrum during 7-10 January next year and is likely to give out soon details of time schedule and eligibility criteria of prospective bidders.

When contacted official sources confirmed that telecom minister A Raja has cleared the Information Memorandum (details of timing and eligibility criteria).

The move comes within a week of Raja writing a letter to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee seeking his intervention to resolve some of the issues with the defence ministry, which has refused to release the required spectrum.

There will be a slippage of about 10-15 days from the original schedule as decided by the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) headed by Mukherjee.

Asked whether issues have been resolved with the defence ministry, sources said the secretaries in the ministries of telecom and defence are likely to hold discussions in the coming days to sort out the issues.

The defence ministry has decided to release 3G spectrum, which is to be auctioned only, and that too in phases. In fact, the armed forces have not released spectrum already in use as envisaged in their agreement with DoT, Raja had said in his letter.

Because of the stand taken by the defence ministry, which is not plausible and against the decisions of the empowered group of ministers there has been slippage in the original schedule of auction, he had said.