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DoT to send 3G auction policy to Law Ministry
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[Image: 2010010550750401.jpg]

The Department of Telecom has decided to send the third generation (3G) spectrum auction policy to the Ministry of Law for vetting .

The Notice Inviting Application (NIA), which outlines all the auction rules in detail, will be issued after the Law Ministry ratifies the policy.

The move follows a decision by an Empowered Group of Ministers on December 21 to auction spectrum to three-four players, excluding the block already given to BSNL and MTNL, depending on the availability of air waves in each circle. Each player will get 5 MHz spectrum in the 2.1 GHZ band.

The GoM, headed by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, had also decided that all the blocks of 3G spectrum will be allotted to the successful bidders immediately after the auction.

But they will be able to use it simultaneously only from August onwards.

The spectrum to be used will include the 10 Mhz already released by the Defence Fforces in 1969-1979 Mhz band. Another 5 Mhz will be released in the 1964-1969 Mhz band by March 31 and 5 Mhz more will be given out in the 1959-1964 Mhz band by August 31.

The vacation of spectrum by the Defence will be subject to fulfilment of the commitments made by the Department of Telecom with regard to the optic fibre cable.

The auction was supposed to be held this month but got delayed due to differences over vacation of spectrum by the Defence.

According to the revised timeline prepared by the DoT, the auction is expected to start on February 12 or 13 and be completed by March 10.

The auction for broadband wireless access will start two days after the 3G auctions are concluded.

The Government is expected to get about Rs 25,000 crore from the sale of air waves and therefore the Finance Ministry is keen to complete the auction this fiscal.

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