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India Mulls Additional 3G Radio Spectrum Auction

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India's government is considering a sale of additional radio spectrum that could be used by the mobile networks to address a lack of spectrum capacity that is holding back some 3G network upgrades.

Vodafone and Bharti Airtel have been complaining that the spectrum restrictions are holding back speed upgrades.

Citing internal documents, the Economic Times reported that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is considering a sale of spectrum in the 2.1Ghz spectrum, which is most commonly used for 3G services.

Currently the Defense Ministry has released 20Mhz of 2.1Ghz spectrum for sale, although a further 5Mhz of spectrum is still pending to be released.

Such an auction would take place alongside the already planned 900Mhz and 1800Mhz spectrum auctions that are due later this year.

The DoT is also considering a sale of some spectrum in the 2.3Ghz and 2.5Ghz bands, although the lack of compatible mobile phones may make those blocks less desirable to the mobile networks.

The sale of 800Mhz spectrum, mostly for the CDMA operators is however still mired in a dispute over the high reserve price that the government wants, and which the mobile networks are fighting to have lowered.

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Tags: radio spectrum  3g license  India