India sets 3G, WiMAX auction prices

After some delay, the Indian government finally opened up the auction of 3G and WiMAX spectrum.

The government is planning to issue four 3G licenses and three WiMAX spectrum licenses nationwide and has opened the bid for the 3G spectrum at $716 million per operator, which may garner more than $5 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research. The government also set $360 million as the bid for the WiMAX spectrum auction. The auction process is expected to last three months.

The Indian government has already given 3G licenses to the state-owned operators Bharat Sanchar Nigam and Mahanager Telephone Nigam, both of which launched services in early 2009. The government has opened up the auction to foreign companies, which means likely heavy competition for the licenses among the country's incumbent operators and with the likes of foreign companies such as NTT DoCoMo, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom. India is one of the most competitive markets in the world and the second largest mobile market worldwide, reaching 442 million subscribers at the end of July.

For more:
-see Zachs Equity Research

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India could see 3G, WiMAX in 2009
India's telecom market braces for ongoing growth
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