The ongoing liquidity crunch may not impact telecom operators’ plans to bid for third generation spectrum, with the Government deciding to conduct the auction in January.
The Department of Telecom had earlier planned to conduct the auction by December 31 but has now postponed it by two weeks to January 15 after the operators and bankers sought extension.
“We have no problems in completing the auction by December 31 as was planned earlier but bankers and operators have asked for extending the timeline. We will complete the auction by January 15,” said Mr Siddhartha Behura, Secretary, DoT.
Industry representatives indicated that by pushing the auction to January, DoT has taken care of the liquidity crunch that operators may have faced due to the global financial crisis.
“January is when most global funds start a new financial year. By conducting the auction in January, telecom players will be able to source adequate funds as the institutions would be having their funds available for the entire year,” said an industry representative.
According to the schedule worked out by DoT, operators will be asked to put in their expression of interest to take part in the bidding by December 15.
The schedule prepared by DoT comes after the Finance Ministry expressed concern at the delay in conducting the auction.
This also assumes significance because there was a feeling within the industry that the 3G auction may get delayed due to the global financial crisis.
The difference between GSM and CDMA operators over bifurcation of 2G and 3G revenue was also being seen as a delaying factor. DoT has sought to dispel any confusion over 3G auction by preparing the detailed schedule.
6 months ago