Whatever the reason the policy makers put out, we’ve been expecting that the 3G auctions will take place after the next elections. Now the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a 61 page document on modifications to the 3G Auction (warning: 6.3 mb PDF) From the press release:

  • The standalone 3G operator who does not have any allotment of 2G spectrum should also pay an annual spectrum charge of 3% of Annual AGR, which is equivalent to the lowest slab of 2G operator. It is clarified that this is besides the administrative charges.
  • The availability of 3G spectrum including anticipated should be put in public domain for the knowledge of bidders. It becomes particularly relevant as DoT has already decided to allocate spectrum to BSNL and MTNL.
  • All available spectrum in 2.1GHz including anticipated spectrum availability within the next one year is put to auction so as to maximize the number of 3G service providers.
  • Two percent (2%) of the highest bid amount as annual administrative charge during the validity period of 3G spectrum.
  • a moratorium of one year from the date of allocation of spectrum in respect of payment of administrative charge, since operators will take time to roll-out services
Unless the Department of Telecommunications completely dismisses any changes to the decided norms, this is likely to result is a delay in the 3G auctions. All the better, some would say – the auction bids may have been affected by the current downturn in the global economy.
More on TRAIs recommendations later.