Govt to allot 3G spectrum on Sept 1


Prime VIP
New Delhi, June 25

The government today said it would allot 3G spectrum to successful bidders on September 1, and rejected the criticism of faulty auction process leading to high prices by leading operators.

The government also said that the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum would be allocated to all the players, including Infotel Broadband, which has been acquired by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL), next week.

"While the overall proceeds from the auction for 3G and BWA spectrum at over Rs 1,06,000 crore have exceeded all expectations, an equally important aspect is that the true market value of the spectrum was determined through an efficient and transparent process," Telecom Secretary PJ Thomas told reporters here.

Country's largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel, which had won 13 out of 22 3G circles, had criticised the auction process and had said, "We would like to point out that the auction format and severe spectrum shortage, along with ensuing policy uncertainty, drove the prices beyond reasonable levels. As a result, we could not achieve our objective of pan-India 3G footprint in this round."

Similarly, in case of BWA spectrum auction, the company had pointed out, "A combination of scarcity of slots and the auction format, once again, resulted in extremely high price levels." Other operators, including Vodafone, had also echoed views and had pulled out of the auction mid way citing irrational bidding.