India will hold a global auction for high-speed third-generation (3G) mobile services and have five operators initially, the telecoms minister said on Friday.
India has 60 MHz of 3G spectrum available, and will allow both GSM and CDMA 3G services, Andimuthu Raja told reporters.
Shares in some telecom firms rose in a weak market, with Tata Communications adding 2.3 percent to 460.90 rupees and state-run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd jumping more than 5 percent to 109.20 rupees on the news.
India joins many other countries to move to the next-generation high-end services which give users a chance to enjoy fast Internet access, games and a host of multimedia content from maps to music on their cellphones.
India, which had 287 million mobile users as of end-June, saw its mobile users base expand 25 times between 2002 and 2007 making it the fastest-growing wireless market in the world. It is also the world's second-biggest wireless market after China.