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Indian 3G auction to kick off on 25 Feb

25 января 2010

India will begin the auction of 3G spectrum on 25 February and aims to complete the process before the end of the current financial year, it emerged Friday.

The government announced it will go ahead with the sale of three slots of 3G spectrum, adding that it expects the auction to come to a close by 3-5 March, the Business Standard reported.

The fiscal year ends later that month.

However, a few days ago the finance ministry instructed communications minister Andimuthu Raja to wrap up the auction before the end of February to enable it to account for the revenue generated in the current financial year.

The government had budgeted for the 300 billion rupees ($6.5 billion) it expects to raise from the auction this financial year to bridge its fiscal deficit, the paper explained.

The new date was established by an inter-ministry committee, but has yet to be approved by the country's Empowered Group of Ministers on 3G. The paper claims the approval merely requires a rubber stamp.

Meanwhile Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile operator by subscribers, backed the government's plan, saying it believes the auction will indeed be completed this fiscal year, according to the Economic Times.

The paper also quoted Bharti Airtel CEO Manoj Kohli as saying he expects to see signs of consolidation in India's telecoms space by next year.

Источник: Total Telecom

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