New Delhi, Sep 18 : The Union Government has said that it will allow foreign telecom companies to bid on their own without a domestic partner for the 3G spectrum but they will have to find a local player before starting services.
Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura said according to Indian laws, foreign companies can own up to 74 per cent stake and thus they would be required to form a joint venture with an Indian company before starting the services. 'The foreign telcos can bid for the 3G spectrum on their own but before rolling out services they should find an Indian partner," he said.
The foreign players want DoT to allow them to bid as 100 per cent foreign entities or give them a minimum of six to seven months after announcement of bidding details to enable them form JV with Indian firms before the spectrum is auctioned.
Amendments made by DoT to the guidelines on companies that can offer 3G mobile-phone services said that new entrants will have to pay an additional Rs 1,650 crore to acquire a basic licence in addition to the money they bid for spectrum needed to offer 3G services.
The foreign telecom operators who are interested in entering India's market to provide 3G telecom services have to shell out Rs 3,700 crore more than the existing licence holders.