India says foreign firms can now bid for 3G licenses

Global telecom players like Deutsche Telecom or NTT DoCoMo can now enter the Indian market through the 3G route, an Indian Express report said.

The Indian Express report said India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided that since 3G licenses would be fresh authorizations and not extensions of existing 2G licenses, any player, whether global or local, could bid for them.

This means any company that missed out on a 2G license still has a chance of getting into the sector via the 3G route, the report said.

The report also quoted DoT secretary DS Mathur as saying that his department had finalized the 3G and broadband wireless access policy, which now needs the approval of the communications and IT minister.

Mathur said DoT was looking at two options to allocate 3G spectrum: auction, as recommended by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, as well as allotment, as done for 2G operators, the report said.