Here we go again. India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has announced a schedule of events, the grand finale of which will be the auction of 3G spectrum in India on December 7th 2009, almost 11 months after the last attempt at the auction was to have completed. The auction of spectrum for Broadband Wireless Access and EVDO will be held two days after the close of the 3G-WCDMA Auction.
(Read: Types Of 3G Bidders)
The schedule of events:
Sep 29: Release of Revised Information Memorandum
Oct 08: Deadline for submission of questions for pre-bid conference
Oct 12: Pre-bid conference
Oct 22: Issue of clarifications, if any
Oct 26: Notice Inviting Applications
Nov 13: Final date for Applications
Nov 18: Publication of ownership details of Applicants
Nov 23: Bidder Ownership Compliance Certificate
Nov 27: Pre-qualification of Bidders
Dec 03-04: Mock Auction
Dec 07: Start of the 3G-WCDMA Auction
EVDO and BWA Auctions: 2 days after the close of the 3G-WCDMA Auction
Payment: Payment of Bid Deposit by Successful Bidders Within 5 calendar days of the
close of the relevant Auction
Payment of the balance amount: Within 15 calendar days of the close of the relevant Auction
As had been announced earlier, the base price for the 3G auction will be Rs. 3500 crores for pan-India (22 Circles) spectrum, up from Rs. 2020 crores that was announced during the last fiscal. 4 slots are being auctioned, and one slot is being reserved for government owned telecom operators (MTNL in Delhi and Mumbai, BSNL elsewhere). The individual price for Category A, B and C types of circles has not been disclosed yet. BSNL and MTNL have already launched 3G services, but they dont appear to have been able to take advantage of the head start.
The Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) base price has been fixed at Rs. 1750 crores for a pan-India license. A potential bidder for the BWA spectrum felt that it has been priced too high. EVDO services are already active in India – both Reliance Communications and Tata Indicom have broadband data cards that offer speeds up to 3.1 mbps.