DoT misses the beat on 3G tender | india | Hindustan Times
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DoT misses the beat on 3G tender

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Tuesday failed to invite tenders for auction of 3G spectrum as expected. Government sources said that this was because the wireless planning cell had informed the DoT that only two blocks of spectrum of 5 MHz band were available for auction, reports HT Correspondent.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2009 22:33 IST
HT Correspondent

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Tuesday failed to invite tenders for auction of 3G spectrum as expected. Government sources said that this was because the wireless planning cell had informed the DoT that only two blocks of spectrum of 5 MHz band were available for auction. The government has announced that it would auction four blocks of 5 MHz each.

According to the Defence Ministry, the third block under its control would be released by June, while the fourth block would be available by September, 2010.

The wireless planning cell's note to the DoT has suggested that the current notice inviting tenders cannot tell the frequency associated with these two blocks. Hence, the winners of the bids should not be charged full amount for these two blocks at the time of bidding. They should be asked to pay only 25 per cent of the bid amount, while the rest of the amount could be paid when spectrum is allotted.

The wireless cell has said that it would require fresh approval from the law ministry and hence the process could be delayed by two to three weeks.

The government is expecting revenue of up to Rs 35,000 from auction of 3G spectrum.

While the government is keen to launch 3G services, which will enable easier downloads of video and stocktrading on high-speed., high quality broadband links, private sector players can step in only after they get licences and spectrum for the purpose.

At present, only state-controlled BSNL and MTNL offer 3G services and that too, in a fledgling offering. MTNL has 170,000 subscribers in Delhi and Mumbai, while BSNL has 140,000 subscribers.