Saturday, August 16, 2008

Delays and more: 3G Road is still being laid

The finance ministry and TRAI - the telecom regulatory authority have expressed reservations about the 3G spectrum auctioning process as well as over other points of the 3G policy. If these developments are going to delay the 3G auction process, the delay is seen to benefit the state players - BSNL and MTNL. BSNL and MTNL would not need to participate in the 3G auctions as their spectrum requirements are virtually allocated already. They were expected to have a lead of at least 6 months over the existing GSM operators and the new UASL players. With the delay in the 3G auction process, this lead time is expected to grow, thereby benefiting BSNL and MTNL.

Apart from this development, the 3G auction delay is also expected to benefit Reliance Communications. RCom has been awarded a pan-India GSM licence and since it would take almost 12 months to rollout their GSM network, RCom would be ready with their network in the delay period.

Even though the telecom ministry has sought the clarify that there would be no delays with respect to the 3G auctions, and has also started the process of finding the auction agency, and also rebutted the finance ministry charges, it can be expected that some amount of delay would be there in the completion of the 3G spectrum auction process.


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