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Updated: April 7, 2010 13:54 IST

Bidders express faith in 3G e-auction

Special Correspondent
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SPECTRUM ON SALE: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh displays a 3G-enabled phone. Telecom operators have okayed an online auction of 3G spectrum. File photo
PTI SPECTRUM ON SALE: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh displays a 3G-enabled phone. Telecom operators have okayed an online auction of 3G spectrum. File photo

All leading companies to participate in the April 9 auction

All telecom majors that are taking part in the forthcoming e-auction of 3G spectrum on Tuesday endorsed the online mechanism designed by NM Rothschild. Expressing full faith in the auction mechanism, they said it had been designed to hold the auction process in a transparent manner that virtually eliminates any scope for unrealistic bid.

All leading telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices, will be participating in the e-auction process that begins on April 9. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will be auctioning three blocks of 3G spectrum in most of the 22 telecom circles, except for Punjab, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, and Jammu and Kashmir where four slots will be offered for sale.

In first-of-its-kind e-auction mechanism in the world designed by NM Rothschild, the price of spectrum will escalate gradually after every round depending upon the demand and number of blocks available in each circle. The price will be increased by a maximum of up to 10 per cent of the reserve price in each circle in a round depending upon the demand. The three price escalations would be 10, five or one per cent given the number of operators vying for spectrum in a particular area. NM Rothschild will simultaneously hold auction in all the 22 circles and any operator will be allowed to re-enter the bidding round in any circle even after quitting in the earlier rounds.

Meanwhile, the DoT on Monday held mock auction for 3G spectrum and BWA services where all the 15 applicant companies participated.

The mock auction went off smoothly with all companies expressing satisfaction over the entire process, including the software platform and auction rules.

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