India's 3G auction faces further delays: report

India's 3G spectrum auction could be delayed yet again, as the Department of Telecom sorts out the last of its issues with the nation's armed forces, according to a government source.

Although the DoT has finally convinced the Department of Defense to vacate 25 MHz of 3G spectrum for the auctions, both ministries now need to comb through the bands to determine which specific frequencies or sub-bands can be auctioned off.
This could delay the 3G auctions - currently scheduled for January 14 - until mid-February, the source told the Economic Times.
The source also detailed the concessions the DoT had made to finally convince Defense to relinquish the needed spectrum, which had been assigned to the armed forces long before the 3G auction was planned.
These include a commitment to assign a dedicated defense spectrum band, to waive all the spectrum charges imposed on the department, and to build a fiber cable network for the armed forces by 2012.
The DoT is also considering waiting for recommendations from regulator Trai on spectrum issues.

But Trai is not expected to complete its review of spectrum policy until around early January, potentially further delaying the auction, the source said.


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