India to hold 3G spectrum action on January 2009
As earlier hinted, India is going to auction off licenses to its 3G spectrum starting mid-January in 2009. This will open the door to new players in the Indian wireless industry, and it will be held on January 15th, 2009, according to a report from the AP.
20.20 billion rupees remains as the reserve price for a license for 3G spectrum, as earlier reported, though Indian Communications Minister Andimuthu Raja sees “significantly higher amounts,” possibly between 300 and 400 billion rupees.
The upcoming 3G spectrum auction will be open to all existing operators, licence holders and even international players. With a record 10.42 million mobile users signed up by Indian mobile telephone operators during October, it is expected that a lot of parties will look into the wireless auction.
Currently, a free 3G trial service of state-run phone company MTNL is in progress. When this ends, it should be about time for the auction winners to roll out their services and put their licensed slice of the airwaves to good use.