Indian 3G auction hits $2.65B

Bids for India's nationwide 3G licenses have hit $2.65 billion, triggering concern that eventual winners may not recoup their investments for some time.

The $2.65 billion reached on Friday was nearly 3.5 times the reserve price set by the government for a pan-India slot. Nine bidders, including incumbents Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications, are vying for the licenses. India is one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world, adding a record 20.31 million subscribers in April alone.

The high cost of the licenses concerns analysts who say India's telecom companies' financials could be strained as they are already struggling in a price-competitive market.

For more:
- read this New Gulf Daily News report

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India could see 3G, WiMAX in 2009
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