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Friday, May 14, 2010

Bids for one all-India 3G licence reach $3.33 bn

Bids for one set of nationwide third-generation (3G) mobile spectrum licences reached Rs150 billion ($3.33 billion) on the 29th day of an auction, an indication the government could earn revenue of more than Rs600 billion from the sale.

As of Thursday, 162 rounds of bidding had been completed, the department of telecommunications (DoT) said on its website.

Nine mobile operators, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Vodafone's Indian unit, are participating in the auction.

Bidding for the 3G spectrum, which would allow firms to offer high-speed Internet and other premium services such as video calling on mobile phone, started on April 9 and is expected to conclude in coming days.

The base price for one set of pan-India licences was set at Rs35 billion.

The government will sell four such licences -- three from the auction and one set to state-run telecoms firms which would have to match the highest bid price paid by the private operators -- plus one extra licence each in five of the 22 telecom zones.

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