No applications for 3G spectrum auction on second day

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New Delhi: The government received no applications from private telecom players to participate in the auction of radio frequency spectrum for third generation (3G) telephony and broadband wireless access (BWA) even on the second day Tuesday after it opened doors for bids.

"There was not a single application today, but we hope to get on the last day (March 19)," a senior department of telecommunications official told IANS. The department was hoping to garner $5.5-$6.5 billion from this auction.

Asked how many applications the department is expecting, the official said, "certainly, we are expecting good response on the last day."

3G telecom services allow 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 auctions for 3G spectrum are scheduled to begin April 9 and the auction for spectrum for broadband services will be held two days after the process concludes for 3G.

The government was keen on holding the auction during this fiscal so that it could raise an estimated $5.5-$6.5 billion and soften the mounting fiscal deficit. But the delay in resolving some key issues kept the matter hanging.

As per the Notice Inviting Application (NIA), issued February 25, the 3G spectrum auction in 22 circles, including the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, would have three private players. And all applicants should be existing operators currently holding UAS licences and 2G spectrum either in GSM or CDMA or both.
Source: IANS
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