3G spectrum auction will take place as per schedule: Pilot (Lead)October 27th, 2009 - 11:20 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) The auction of radio waves to start third generation (3G) telecom services in India will take place as scheduled, Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot said here Tuesday.
“The 3G spectrum allocation process will go on as per schedule in January,” Pilot told reporters on the sidelines of a business meet.
His remarks came amid controversies over the allottement of 2G spectrum to private telecom players last year.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) last week announced that the auction of the 3G spectrum would be conducted in four stages — invitation of the bid, pre-qualification, auction, and finally the grant of spectrum.
The communications ministry would also hold a pre-bid conference Nov 16 and the mock auction Jan 11-12 next year.
As per data released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India earlier this month, India’s total wireless subscriber base rose 9 percent in the quarter ended June 30 to 427.29 million.
Of this, the rural subscriber base increased 30 percent to 125.95 million, taking the tele-density in the hinterland to 15.35 percent.
Meanwhile, in another development Tuesday, state telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), personal computer manufacturer HCL, and chip maker Intel Corp announced a series of initiatives to expand access to wireless broadband Internet across India and affordable computers.
Intel and BSNL jointly will propagate wireless broadband Internet in what is intended to ultimately become a mobile WiMAX network.
BSNL will also work with Intel and HCL to make available WiMAX-capable nettop computers in rural regions. The computers have been designed by the two companies and made in India by HCL using Intel processors.
Describing the Internet as “the force that will propel India into the next decade” Pilot said: “We commend BSNL, HCL and Intel for coming together to accelerate wireless broadband Internet availability in India.”
According to the minister, the initiative has the “potential to connect millions more Indians to 21st century digital opportunity, driving national growth in the process”.
Added BSNL chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal: “Ultimately, our vision is to make WiMAX available across all India.”
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