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India Auction Fever

Catherine Haslam

11:00 AM -- The Indian Government is expected to replace subscriber and efficiency targets with auctions as the mechanism for allocating additional spectrum to the country's mobile operators.

The government panel set up to review the system is likely to rule in favor of auctions when it reports next week.

This should bring to an end the conflict surrounding the allocation of introductory GSM spectrum to CDMA operators and the claims of GSM operators for an automatic right to up to 15 MHz.

Auctions won't be straightforward to introduce though, as three operators -- Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL), Vodafone India , and Idea Cellular Ltd. -- already have additional spectrum and could face an additional retrospective one-off fee. And the idea of another auction might cause some groans amongst the country's mobile carriers, as the 3G spectrum auction is still in limbo. (See Indian Operator Expects Lengthy 3G Delay .)

Check out this India Times report for the full story.

To learn more about the Indian telecom market, see A Guide to India's Telecom Market.

— Catherine Haslam, Asia Editor, Light Reading

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