Auction of broadband airwaves starts Saturday

New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) India will start Saturday the auction of airwaves for broadband services in the country, after it concluded a similar exercise to enable private players start third generation (3G) telecom services.

As many as 11 companies — Bharti Airtel, Reliance WiMax, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Augere Mauritius Limited, Infotel Broadband Services, Qualcomm, Spice Internet Service Provider, Tata Communications Internet Services, Tikona Digital Networks and Vodafone Essar — will bid for broadband wireless access (BWA) services.

The government has set Rs.1,750 crore as the base price for a BWA slot.

The department of telecommunications says the aim of the auction is to award spectrum transparently and fairly to generate revenue for the public purse, ensuring effective competition and getting a market-determined price for the spectrum.

Global investment bank Rothschild and telecom auction services provider dot.econ are advising the government on the auction.

The 3G auction fetched Rs.67,718.95 crore ($15 billion) to the government.

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