3G, broadband auction may yield Rs 55,000 cr: Raja | india | Hindustan Times
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3G, broadband auction may yield Rs 55,000 cr: Raja

The government expects to raise Rs.55,000 crore from the ongoing auctions of radio frequency spectrum for third generation telecom services and for rolling out broadband wireless internet services in the country, Communications Minister A. Raja said today.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2010 19:57 IST

The government expects to raise Rs.55,000 crore from the ongoing auctions of radio frequency spectrum for third generation (3G) telecom services and for rolling out broadband wireless internet services in the country, Communications Minister A. Raja said on Tuesday.

"The revenue from 3G alone will touch Rs 40,000 crore...Putting both 3G and broadband spectrum together, we hope to get Rs.50,000-55,000 crore of revenue," he said.

Earlier, he had said the government expected to rake in Rs.45,000 crore from the auctions.

Eighty-two rounds of 3G spectrum auction were concluded on Monday when the provisional winning price for a nationwide licence reached Rs.8,382.48 crore, up 139.5 per cent from Rs.3,500 crore reserve price fixed by the government.

Slots for three-four players are available in each of the 22 circles into which the country has been geographically divided for the 3G services, which will facilitate much faster connectivity than what is available now and enable applications such as Internet TV, video-on-demand, audio-video calls and high-speed data exchange.

The government has already given Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) spectrum for 3G services on the condition that they will pay the same licence fee as would be levied on private players after the auction.

Along with the fee that will be eventually paid by the two state-run enterprises for the licences, the government provisionally hoped to get at least Rs.33,894.62 crore from the auction.

This is on the presumption that every available slot gets filled at the provisionally approved price.

Nine telecom companies-Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Aircel, Etisalat, S Tel and Videocon Telecommunications-are participating in the online auction.

With bid value rising everyday, the Minister said he will speak to the finance ministry to discuss the waiver of 3G spectrum fee for BSNL and MTNL.

He called the comparison between 2G and 3G "foolish", adding, "We can't compare PDS (public distribution system) rice with Basmati."

"2G services were for the common man and 3G is for those who require value-added services, so it was expected to rake in this level of revenue," said Raja.