The participation by international players will be a pointer towards the number of international telecom companies interested in entering the Indian telecom market through the 3G spectrum route. Hoping to attract a large participation from the international players currently not present in the Indian market, the government has allowed the foreign bidders to first bid for the spectrum all by themselves and later form a joint venture with an Indian partner as the FDI caps in the telecom sector permit only 74% FDI.
The 3G and the WiMAX spectrum auction is scheduled to be held on January 14. On Monday, the DoT officials would make a presentation of the entire auction process and answer queries of the interested participants in the conference.
The government would hold this conference for the second time with the previous pre-bid conference for the 3G spectrum being held in December last year. This time around the government is hoping to rope in as much as Rs 35,000 crore as the auction proceeds for which it has already budgeted in the current year. According to the auction guidelines, a bidder would have to pay a pan-India reserve price of Rs 3,500 crore for 3G spectrum, while a Rs 1,750 crore for WiMAX. Secondly there would be four slots available to private operators and one slot in each circle has been reserved for the state-run telcos, BSNL/MTNL.