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Pre-IPO, BSNL Gets Spectrum, Waivers; To Manufacture Handsets, Modems; Unions Stalling IPO

The Indian Government has already approved the release of one block each of 3G spectrum of 2x5MHz in the 2.1 GHz Band for BSNL and MTNL, both public sector telecos. The government release itself states that they're allowing government owned companies "a first-mover advantage over private operators". What's more, they're also being given a block of 20 MHz Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band, at 2645 MHz. Besides this, they're guaranteed 3G and BWA spectrum at a price equal to the highest bid in the service areas. License fees for rural lines has also been waived for BSNL, and they're getting upto Rs. 2000 crore per annum from the USO Fund to make up for the removal of the Access Deficit Charges. Not that it's going to do them much good, though. ET reports that BSNL…

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