Top telecom players in fray for 3G auction

The last date for applying for 3G (third-generation) mobile spectrum is Friday and at least one more player is expected to join the race. Auction for spectrum will begin on April 9.
The government has fixed a reserve price of Rs 3,500 crore for pan-India spectrum and with the number of operators who have applied outbidding the number of slots available, the government is expected to garner handsome revenues — with Rs 20,000 crore being the total reserve price.

Etislat DB, a joint venture between UAE based Etisalat and Swan Telecom, has also put in its application. However, it could not be ascertained that whether they have applied for pan-India or a select number of circles. Two others, Qualcomm and Tikona, have applied for wireless broadband access spectrum, for which only two slots are available and the reserve price is half that of 3G spectrum.

When contacted spokespersons of Bharti, Vodafone and RCom confirmed that they have submitted their applications. RCom has applied for 22 circles, while Bharti and Vodafone are believed to have applied for pan-India 3G license.The government will be selling spectrum to three players across the nation with the exception of a few states where four slots will be on offer.

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