The much awaited auction of spectrum for 3G mobile services is likely to be delayed by more than a month and may commence from the first week of March next year, the schedule for which is to be announced soon.
The auction process may start in last week of February or the first week of March, a senior government official said, adding that the revised schedule was being worked out, taking into account the outcome of the last meeting of an Empowered Group of Ministers, where the Defence Ministry agreed to vacate spectrum.
Last week, Telecom Minister A Raja had said that the auction would be as per schedule (January 14, 2010), but it seems impossible as the Department of Telecom (DoT) is yet to finalise details of Notice Inviting Applications (NIA).
The Government has estimated to generate over Rs 25,000 crore from the sale of 3G spectrum and has fixed a reserve price of Rs 3,500 crore for pan-Indian spectrum.
Despite crunch of spectrum, the Government has decided to auction four slots, besides the one each already given to two telecom PSUs – BSNL and MTNL.