India begins 2G re-auction

India’s government has begun the re-auction of its 2G GSM spectrum licences in the 1800MHz spectrum band. The auction began Monday November 12th at 9am India time.

In February this year, the country’s Supreme Court cancelled 122 licences that had been allocated in 2008 amidst allegations of corruption. This time around, however, a maximum of 11 blocks of spectrum will be allocated in each of India’s regional circles, except for Delhi and Mumbai, where just eight blocks will be sold, in a bid to attract high prices for spectrum. Starting prices for licences begin at Rs35bn ($640m) for a 1.25MHz block.

Five operators have announced their intention to bid for the spectrum: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Videocon and Telenor. Telenor will participate in the auction through its fully owned subsidiary Telewings Communication Services.

“If successful in the auction, Telenor plans to transfer all assets from Uninor into the new company to secure a seamless transition for Uninor’s existing customers and employees,” the Norwegian operator group said in a statement.


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