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India 3G Auction: Day 17


2:05 PM -- Having topped the US$2 billion mark by the close of Day 16, the price of a pan-India license rose again on Day 17 to 93.3 billion Indian Rupees ($2.1 billion).

With three pan-India licenses up for grabs in the auction, and another already allocated to state-owned operators Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) , for which they will have to pay at the same rate as the winning bidders, the government is already assured more than $8 billion from 3G spectrum alone.

Mumbai attracted the highest provisional winning price for a single circle at INR14.91 billion ($336 million), followed by New Delhi at INR14.17 billion ($319 million).

There are suggestions that the auction could now be drawing to a close as bidding activity related to the major urban circles decreases. Telecom minister Andimuthu Raja told the Indian parliament earlier today that he expected the auction to end within a couple of days, reports The Economic Times.

Raja also noted that there are no current plans for a so-called 4G spectrum auction.

Once the 3G auction ends, the identities of the winning bidders will be released, and, two days later, the BWA (broadband wireless access) spectrum auction will begin.

For more detailed information on the prices of various circles, visit the Department of Telecommunications auction update archive.

— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading

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