Ending three months of uncertainty, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Tuesday said it will start allotting 3G spectrum to successful bidders from Wednesday.
This will pave the way for telecom operators to offer high-speed data services.
"We will meet our schedule of allotting spectrum for 3G services from tomorrow. The Defence has agreed to vacate spectrum," said a DoT official.
"If 3G spectrum is allotted on Wednesday, we will be able to launch services in January," said the head of a national telecom service provider.
What 3G offers
Data transfer speeds that are 17 times faster than present-day speeds: up to 2 mbps against 114 kbps on today's networks.
Ability to support heavy applications, such as TV on mobile phones.
Subscribers can also access services such as movies on demand and videoconferencing.
3G services allow high speed data download of up to 2Mbps. This enables features like mobile TV, video on demand, video conferencing besides high speed Internet access through mobile phones.
On May 31, all the nine successful bidders had paid a total fee of R67,719 crore. This was significantly higher than the R35,000 crore, which the government had budgeted to earn through sale of 3G and broadbanf wireless access spectrum. Bharti Airtel paid the highest amount at R12,295.5 crore for 3G spectrum (radio waves) in 13 circles, followed by Vodafone at R11,617.9 crore.