India to raise over $10 billion from February spectrum auction
The Indian government plans to raise approximately $10.2 billion from its spectrum auction in February.
The country’s Union Cabinet set base prices of approximately $574 million for spectrum blocks in the 800MHz band, approximately $626.4 million for 900MHz and approximately $344.7 million for 1800MHz.
The Indian defence ministry will also free up additional airwaves in the 2100MHz frequency for commercial use.
The auction comes as part of a government effort to reach its fiscal deficit target of 4.1% of GDP.
Indian operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications have called for the spectrum auction to be deferred, ensuring that operators whose licences expire in 2015/16 can be allowed to "continue with their existing in-use spectrum" until sufficient additional airwaves across bands are available for sale, reported The Economic Times.