3G spectrum to be auctioned by Oct: Raja

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New Delhi, Aug 28 (UNI) Expressing hope to start 3G services in the country by the year-end, Communications and IT Minister A Raja today said the spectrum for the same will be auctioned by October.

''The spectrum auction process would be completed by October this year. I want the operators to roll out their 3G services within this year,'' Mr Raja told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.

On the lines of the recommendations of Telecom regulator TRAI, the frequency for CDMA operators under 3G services will be auctioned in the same way as done for GSM operators, he said.

Earlier, the Communications Ministry had decided that the spectrum will be allocated to the CDMA operators on the basis of number of subscribers in a circle.

At present, there are four pan-India CDMA players-- Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, State-owned BSNL and the new entrant Sistema-backed Shyam Telecom.

CDMA operators, including Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices can seek one slot in the 800 Mhz. However, with another player's entry, the competition has emerged and the auction will be done as per TRAI's recommendations.

''Now with another player joining, the competition has emerged there as well. So, now 3G will be auctioned as per TRAI's recommendations instead of allocation given on the subscriber base,'' the Minister said.

UNI MP SG AS1736

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