updated 02:55 pm EST, Wed December 31, 2008
India postpones 3G auction
India has postponed the auction of its 3G spectrum from an original date of January 16th to the 30th, following requests from potential bidders to have more time to review related documents and rules. At the same time, the deadline for applications to become a bidder has been extended from the 5th to the 15th. The auction will give domestic and foreign companies the option to acquire the 2.1GHz wireless frequency, used for HSPA-based 3G data network services.
Two days after the close of the 3G auction, India's Ministry of Communications will host another auction for the 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz bands, intended for faster mobile broadband networks such as WiMAX.
The auction is expected to be a lively one, as India's mobile market is growing at a rate of 10 million new users per month. The government further notes that bidders who win a 3G license will also be able to offer services under the 2G spectrum. Analysts believe it is this fact that will be the money-maker for winning bidders, as 3G network access is not expected to drive revenue, at least initially. The auction may also help Apple and the iPhone 3G, which is currently without its namesake feature in India.