Etisalat DB dropped out of 3G auction at USD 2 billion

Etisalat DB dropped out of 3G auction at USD 2 billion

Etisalat recently launched GSM mobile service in India under the Cheers Mobile brand but was shut out of the 15 areas it bid for.

"We pulled out around USD 2 billion and it did not make any sense for us to keep bidding. We had (selected areas to bid on) and those States went above our limit," an Etisalat official, who did not wish to be quoted, said.

India's 3G auction concluded last week dominated by bids from Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Aircel and generated Rs 677 billion for the government, almost double the amount industry observers had forecast it would yield.

Several company officials, including Mohammed Omran, the chairman of Etisalat, has repeatedly stated that it planned to acquire other companies in India.

"It is inevitable for India," the official was quoted by Abu Dhabi's English daily The National as saying.

Despite, launching its Indian operations with the lowest mobile rates in the country-- between 0.1 rupee and 0.6 rupee per minute-–the company has not been able to attract a large number of subscribers.

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