3G Spectrum for BSNL: Andimuthu Raja

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Tiruchirapalli, May 28: The Union Communication Ministry has decided to sanction 3G Spectrum to the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) on an out-of-turn basis without competing with the private service providers, Communications and Information Technology Minister A Raja said.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day second circle conference of the National Union of BSNL Workers (FNTO) here last night, he pointed out that the auction for 3G (third generation) spectrum to private service providers would be called shortly.

After framing guidelines for the proposed auction for the sophisticated 3G spectrum, it would be given to the BSNL on an out-of-turn basis. The private service providers could acquire this modernised version only after bidding in the auction successfully by quoting a higher amount, he said, adding that BSNL would later pay the highest amount quoted by the private service providers.

Asserting that he would never allow privatisation of the telecom sector, Mr Raja said, instead, he would make the BSNL to compete with private telecom operators by providing cheap and better service to the public.

Efforts are on to activate 8,000 more towers to improve BSNL mobilephone services throughout the country, he said, adding ''Plans are afoot to install additional 11,000 towers during the current year.'' The Communication Ministry is targeting to achieve 500 million telephone connections in the country by 2015, he added.

UNI

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