3G spectrum auctions delayed by a month; to begin on Feb 13

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 1 2010, 05:18am hrs
The 3G spectrum auctions would now begin on February 13 , a month later from the earlier deadline of January 14. The empowered group of ministers (eGoM) decided this on Wednesday, DoT officials said.

The one-month delay is owing to the delay on the part of defence forces that did not to vacate the spectrum by December 7. Hence, the DoT could not invite applications (NIA) on December 8 for the same.

However, with the intervention of the eGoM on December 31 the defence forces have been made to agree to vacate spectrum.

As per the new timeline, the DoT would come out with the NIA on January 10. The last date for accepting applications would be January 25. Mock auctions would take place on February 11 and 12 with the auctions commencing from February 13. The new timeline would shortly be put up on the DoTs website.

As reported earlier, the auctions would take place for 4+1 slots (four for private sector players while one has already been allotted to BSNL/MTNL) across the country.

As per the eGoM decision spectrum would be allotted to all the winning parties simultaneously by August to maintain a level-play field.

The decision to allot spectrum post-auction simultaneously to all the winners to maintain a level-play field instead of providing a first-mover advantage to a few, was taken after Tata group chairman, Ratan Tata urged the government that spectrum allocation should be done simultaneously to all the winners to maintain level-play field.

The government has budgeted Rs 35,000 crore through spectrum auction this fiscal.