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Friday, April 23, 2010

Govt now sees $11 bln revenue from spectrum auctions - min

The government now expects its third-generation (3G) and broadband spectrum auctions to raise 500 billion rupees ($11.2 billion), much higher than the government's budget estimates of 350 billion rupees, telecommunications minister Andimuthu Raja said on Friday.

On Thursday, Raja had said he expected the auctions to raise 450 billion rupees.

"Everyday it is going up," he told reporters outside the parliament on Friday, referring to the bids for 3G spectrum, for which the auction is currently on.

India kicked off a closely-watched multi-billion dollar spectrum acution on April 9 which would enable telecom firms in India offer premium third-generation services.

As of Thursday, government data showed bids for each pan-India 3G spectrum licences almost doubled from the base price to touch $1.6 billion, ensuring the government roughly $6.4 billion as it will sell four such licences.

The wireless broadband spectrum auction will start two days after the 3G auction closes.

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