The government on Tuesday exuded confidence that revenues from sale of spectrum for 3G telephony and Broadband may touch Rs 50,000-55,000 crore, beating the budget estimates of Rs 35,000 crore.

“It is a matter of pride... The revenue from 3G alone may cross Rs 40,000 crore. The motivation shown by the operators is remarkable. Revenues from 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum put together may touch Rs 50,000-55,000 crore,” Telecom Minister A. Raja said here.

When asked about some analysts terming the 3G bid price as irrational, the Minister said “...It is only some frustrated forces, who have not been able to get (spectrum) are spreading this kind of information.”

The revenues from 3G, till Monday, had touched Rs 33,895 crore and the operators are still bidding and with bids set to come in for ‘B’ and ‘C’ category service areas, the quotation is all set to increase.

The revenues, going by the bid trend as of Tuesday, may cross the Rs 35,000 crore-level at the end of the auction round today — the 15th day of auction.

On the comparison being drawn in certain circles about revenues from sale of 2G spectrum, for which the licences were given in early 2008, and 3G, he shot back: “We can’t compare PDS rice with Basmati rice.”

The comparisons are “complete rubbish, complete nonsense.” 2G services were for the common man and 3G is aimed at those requiring value-added services and hence, it was expected to rake in this level of revenue.

3G services will allow users to download and upload data on their mobile at higher speeds and stream movies online.

The auction of 3G spectrum began on April 9, 2010. Nine mobile operators are in the fray for the three pan-India slots of spectrum put on the block. In some service areas, four slots are being auctioned.