Green Light for India's 3G Auction

10:15 AM -- It looks as if India's mobile operators will finally be able to get their hands on some 3G licenses early next year. The country's Department of Telecommunications has announced that the 3G auction will start on January 14.

There will actually be three separate auctions for three different frequency bands: 2.1 GHz, 800 MHz, and 2.3 GHz. The first auction, which will start on January 14, will be for up to 20 MHz of paired spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band, referred to as the "3G auction." Then two days after that auction ends, the auctions for 800 MHz and 2.3 GHz will start. The 2.3 GHz auction, called the "Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) auction," will include two blocks of 20 MHz of unpaired spectrum, which is suitable for WiMax.

These auctions were originally scheduled for January 16 this year. (See India Resets 3G Date, IndiaWatch: 3G Delayed, 2G Adds 10M, India Faces 3G Delay, Indian Operator Expects Lengthy 3G Delay , and $7B Target for India's 3G Auctions.)

The auctions are certainly a big deal for the Indian market, and even Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) could make an appearance in the proceedings, according to this Business Standard report.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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