Paving the way for moving to the next generation of mobile services, an empowered Group of Ministers on Thursday fixed Rs 3,500 crore as reserve price for 3G spectrum to be given to a maximum five players initially.
The eGoM also decided a base price of Rs 1,750 crore for pan-India WiMax (wireless internet) spectrum and the auction of both will be completed within 90 days, Telecom Minister A Raja told reporters.
"I do feel that the Government of India, putting together 3G and Wimax, will easily get Rs 25,000 crore," he said after over a hour-long meeting of the eGoM.
The eGoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, decided that five slots in 3G spectrum would be auctioned and amongst the five, one lot has already been allotted to BSNL or MTNL, the minister said, adding that four more slots would be auctioned.
He, however, said that with only four more slots to be sold, the players are likely to bid higher for the frequency.
The eGoM lowered the base price to Rs 3,500 crore for pan-India 3G spectrum, from the earlier level of Rs 4,040 crore decided by Raja and Mukherjee, after representations from the private players and their respective lobbies.
The Telecom Ministry will now announce the detailed programme for the auction, which will include pre-bid conference in the next couple of weeks, a source said.