The department of telecommunications (DoT) is supposed to propose guidelines in a manner that will best suit the interests of the maximum number of people, including consumers and suppliers. Recent reports suggest that DoT is leaning towards barring foreign and new players from the bidding process, in line with the recommendations of Trai. The most quoted argument in favour of restricting more players is that there are already around ten bidders on average for each circle, bidding for five licenses, and that this should guarantee a good price to the government without marking up bids so high that consumers pick up the extra tab. As a sop to the foreign players, DoT is going to allow them to pick up stakes in an existing operator. Fortunately, nobody in government is buying into the free license theory. The flaw in DoTs case is in assuming that all existing operators in each circle have equal financial muscle. That is not the case. Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Reliance and Tata will easily out-muscle the others. For the government to maximise its revenues, and in the interest of keeping the Big Five operators on their toes, it should seriously consider allowing new and foreign players to join the bidding process.