The Finance Ministry wants 3G auctioning in all zones of the country as opposed to DoT’s suggestion of conducting it only in 13 circles. 3G spectrum is unavailable in 9 circles as defense forces are yet to vacate spectrum.
The timing of the 3G auction remains uncertain as the possible high cost for a 3G license could deter several new operators and some of the incumbents from making a competitive bid. Some operators might want the auction process to be delayed though the government is reportedly firm on doing the auction in January 2009.
3G Auction will dig a deep hole into the operators pocket and it will take at least 12-18 months for 3G to start contributing significantly to operator revenues.