Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology A. Raja on Friday said the auction of spectrum for 3G mobile service would be held as scheduled. “There is no change in the schedule,” he told journalists here.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has set January 14, 2010 as the date of auction.

Referring to the number of slots to be auctioned per circle, Mr. Raja said: “It would be decided by the empowered-Group of Ministers (eGoM).” Initially, it was planned to auction four slots a circle, apart from a State-run telecom firm, but the DoT now wanted only three players due to shortage of spectrum.

Reserve price

The DoT had fixed the reserve price of spectrum at Rs.3,500 crore for the pan-Indian 3G spectrum and Rs.1,750 crore for wireless broadband (WiMAX). However, with a cut in the number of slots, revenue generation from the auction process could fall short by around Rs.5,000 crore from the earlier estimated Rs.25,000-Rs.30,000 crore.

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