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3G Delayed Again In India As Foreign Telcos Show Interest

The much awaited auction of 3G spectrum, set to take place on December 7 this year has been postponed to January, according to Hindu. Telecommunications and Information Technology minister A.Raja has said that 3G players have requested it to be held after Christmas holidays; he said that it would definitely be held by the end of the fiscal. The WiMAX auction, which was to be held alongside the 3G auction, has also been delayed. The 3G auction page remains blank. Global 3G telcos are interested in participating in India's 3G auctions. Note that successful 3G bidders will also be offered 2G spectrum when it is available, they can gain a foothold into the fast growing telecom market with over 400 million mobile subscribers, though the ARPU situation looks bleak. Timeline of Delay April 2008 - AUSPI writes to DoT on behalf of CDMA operators asking to stall the 3G auction and offer clarification in charges of spectrum before the auctions were held. August 2008 - TRAI issues guidelines, finance ministry objects to the pricing for 3G auction being taken without taking its opinion into account. September 2008 - DoT modifies guidelines October, 2008 - Vodafone asked the government to postpone the auctions due to the economic recession. (ET) The government pushed it to January 15, 2009 as international banks would struggle if a financial commitment was required before year end seeing as the holidays were coming up. December 2008 - DoT does not receive approval from Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs…

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