Andimuthu Raja, who retains his position in the new Indian government as IT and Communications Minister following the recent national elections, told the TV station that he expects the auction to be completed within two months at the most, according to this transcript of the interview at financial news Website moneycontrol.com.
Expectant operators will believe it when it happens, though: The auction is already significantly delayed, leaving state-owned service providers Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) , which have already been granted their 3G spectrum, to gain an advantage over their rivals. (See Indian Operator Expects Lengthy 3G Delay , BSNL Does 3G With Ericsson, and MTNL Launches 3G.)
India's carriers will also be looking for swift action on mobile number portability, the licensing of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), and operator ownership rules. (Check out all the hot topics in the Indian telecom market in our extensive report, A Guide to India's Telecom Market; also see AsiaWatch: India Preps Number Portability and IndiaWatch: Game-Changin' Days.)
Elsewhere, emerging mobile operators Datacom Solutions and Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd. are set to award significant IT outsourcing deals in the near future, according to this Economic Times report.
According to the report, Datacom, which holds licenses to offer services in all 22 "circles" but which has yet to launch its GSM service, has shortlisted IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Tech Mahindra Ltd. , and Wipro Ltd. (NYSE: WIT) for its deal, which the newspaper valued at $150 million.
Shyam, which also has licenses for all 22 circles and which offers its CDMA service in four circles currently (having recently launched in Kolkata), is believed to have shortlisted the same three suppliers for a deal of around the same value. (See Shyam Launches CDMA Service.)
Other recent news of interest from India includes:
- CDMA Hits 100M in India
- Indus Towers Names CEO
- Swan Buys Some Reach
- Tata Reports Full Year
- Bharti, MTN in $23 Billion Talks
- Huawei Touts $2B Deal From BSNL
- Unitech Picks AlcaLu
- MTNL Turns On IP Mobile Net
- India's New Telecom Regulator Revealed
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading