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Spectrum auction to fetch at least Rs 25,000 cr: Raja

The much-awaited auction of radio waves for third generation mobile phone services, or 3G, is expected to garner at least Rs 25,000 crore from private bidders, union communications and IT minister, A Raja said in Coimbatore.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Coimbatore
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2010 09:34 PM IST

The much-awaited auction of radio waves for third generation mobile phone services, or 3G, is expected to garner at least Rs 25,000 crore from private bidders, union communications and IT minister, A Raja said in Coimbatore on Saturday.

"As the Government has decided to hold the auction by February end, it is expecting to fetch the amount as a one-time payment from the bidders," he told reporters in Coimbatore.

The government expects to garner 35,000 crore from sale of spectrum in this fiscal.

Raja, who was in Coimbatore to launch the 3G services of BSNL in Coimbatore and Nilgiris Districts, said efforts are on to bring in technology that would allow 2G sim cardholders to use the services as well.

Asked about launching 4G services, he said the International Telecom Union was opposed to it and there were also certain technological problems.

"However, the services are expected in a year and it will not have any adverse impact on 3G," he said.

On BSNL's declining market share, particularly landlines, Raja said BSNL has 2.5 lakh workers and unlike other players has more rural exchanges.

"BSNL has not just a commercial motive but a larger social responsibility, for which it has to penetrate rural areas," he said.

He said modalities were being worked on to simplify procedures in calling for tenders, one of the reasons for delays in implementation of projects in the public sector.

He also noted that intense competition had led to private players demanding a minimum tariff to survive in the market.

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