India's 3G auction set to top $10b

Nicole McCormick
06 May 2010
00:00
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Daily News

After 22 days, India’s 3G auction has attracted bids reaching nearly $10 billion.

Yesterday, six more bidding rounds were completed, pushing total bids to around 445 billion rupee ($9.95 billion), according to the Department of Telecommunications.

The auction has surpassed the Finance Ministry’s expectations of 350 billion rupee from this auction and the forthcoming sale of broadband wireless spectrum.

Bidding has been fierce due to the fact that nine contenders are battling it out for limited spectrum – only three or four licenses are being sold in each circle.

Mumbai has attracted the highest bid amount of 19.1 billion rupee, followed closely by Delhi with bids of 18.5 billion rupee.

While bidding on some B and C circles has yet to really kick off, expectations are that bidders, possibly including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Vodafone, will make late plays for this spectrum.

Meanwhile, the government has reassured operators that spectrum will be available as promised by September, following reports that this could be delayed, reports the Economic Times.

The auction is expected to continue for another couple of days.

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