Ending suspense over the number of 3G operators in a circle, the government on Wednesday said three private players in most of the circles while four in five states, including Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, will be allowed to offer third generation services.
The 3G mobile services will allow high speed content download and broadband services.
Inviting applications from mobile operators to participate in the upcoming 3G auction, the government said that three operators will be allowed in most of the circles, including the metros, across the country.
According to the Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for 3G spectrum auction, among 22 circles, only in five states --Punjab, Bihar, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir -- four private players will be allowed.
All successful bidders would be allowed to offer 3G services on commercial basis only from September 1, 2010.
The auction of spectrum has been postponed several times as among other things there were indecisiveness over the availability of spectrum and the number of operators to be allowed in each telecom circle.
The Department of Telecom had locked horns with the Defence Ministry over the later's reluctance to vacate the designated spectrum (air waves) for commercial use.
The document further said that the last date for submission of applications is March 19. The mock auction will take place on April 5 and 6, which will be followed by the much awaited 3G auction on April 9, 2010.