India's 3G Spectrum Policy Allows Foreign Bids

From PC World: The Indian government on Friday announced its guidelines for auction of 3G (third generation) spectrum in the country, allowing foreign bidders with experience in offering 3G mobile services to participate.

The government is allotting spectrum in the 2.1GHz band for 3G services, India's Minister for Communications, A. Raja, told reporters in Delhi on Friday.

The announcement of the policy was delayed because of disagreement within the government on whether to allow foreign investors to participate in the bid. The government was in favor of a global bid so that it could raise more money from auctioning the spectrum, and also to introduce competition in the market. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) argued that existing players already had the infrastructure in place to be able to offer 3G services faster and at an incremental cost to customers.

The opening of the auction to foreign bidders will make the 3G market very competitive in India, which will help mobile users, said Madhusudan Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner.

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