Raja glad at the overwhelming response to 3G spectrum bids

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New Delhi, May 20 (ANI): Information Technology and Communication Minister A Raja has expressed his happiness over the successful completion of auction for 3G spectrum telephones.

"I am happy to have in around Rs 70,000 crore but, I never felt that it will cross Rs 45,000 crore. I am happy that it has been crossed and it's good for the country," said Raja contending that the gains from this auction would supplement the country's exchequer.

The government, in its budget 2010-11, had estimated Rs 35,000 crore from sale of spectrum for both 3G as well as Broadband Wireless Access (BWA).

"Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) admitted in the report...2G price can be calculated as per the 3G prices with it's new methodology, fully accepting the efficiency of the 2G, which is three times lesser than the 3G," added Raja.

The auction for 3G licence concluded on Wednesday with bids for pan-India licence touching to the tune of Rs 16,828 crore.

The bidding ensures the Union Government a revenue of Rs 70,000 crore - which is double the amount of it expected to collect.

The 3G services would allow users to access high-speed data downloads on mobile phones.

Reportedly, Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone Essar have won in some of the circles in the auction that lasted 34 days.

Spectrum allocation had been a controversial issue over the past several months as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had gone by the first-come-first-serve rule, rather than shifting to an auction regime.

Raja had earlier been under fire in the wake of charges that his spectrum allocation policies have caused a revenue loss of 60,000 crore rupees. (ANI)

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