India Official: Expect Fresh 2G Telecom Auctions To Take Over 400 Days
02/29/2012| 06:18am US/Eastern
The Indian government expects to take at least 400 days to auction licenses for basic mobile-phone services, a top official said Wednesday, quashing hopes of telecom operators hurt by a court ruling that revoked their licenses earlier this month.
Telecom Secretary R. Chandrashekhar told reporters at an industry event that the telecom department expects also to resolve all issues related to the sector, including bandwidth pricing and allotment, in the next six months.
India's Supreme Court on Feb. 2 ordered scrapping of 122 licenses for second-generation telecom services issued without auctions since January 2008 to several operators, saying the allocation process was "arbitrary and unconstitutional."
The order will become effective after four months from the ruling. The court also directed the telecom regulator to frame new guidelines for auctioning mobile-phone bandwidth and licenses, and the government to hold fresh auctions within a month of finalizing such rules.
-By R. Jai Krishna, Dow Jones Newswires; +91-9967586928; email@example.com