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The 3G storyy

Why did some foreign telecos not participate in the 3G auction?
Uninor, a joint venture between Norway's Telenor and India's Unitech, first wants to see clarity emerge on the allotment of 2G spectrum before it takes the 3G plunge.
Allocations of 2G airwaves have been put on hold until the government comes up with a new allotment methodology. Before March 2009, when the allocations were stopped, telecom companies got spectrum based on their subscriber numbers.
Also staying away are overseas multinational telecom firms such as AT&T, Verizon, British Telecom, France Telecom, MTN, Orascom and Deutsche Telekom that are not present in India. They argue that the 3G policy is heavily loaded in favour of existing operators that offer services on 2G airwaves.
Another reason for shunning the 3G auction is that many countries have already started commercial deployments of 4G technologies such as long-term evolution and Telenor is evaluating whether it should leapfrog by skipping 3G.
Successful bidders for 3G spectrum will get 5 MHz of airwaves. While this is not enough for new players, it will be sufficient for existing ones to migrate to 3G.
3G services were originally scheduled to be launched in India in 2007, but have repeatedly been delayed amid troubles over freeing up spectrum and setting bid prices. First launched in Japan in May 2001, the services are available in over 90 countries.
The auction is scheduled to start on April 9.
The base price for pan-India 3G airwaves is Rs 3,500 crore. Three slots each will be auctioned in 17 telecom service areas and four in the remaining five. State-owned BSNL and MTNL have already been allotted 3G frequencies.


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