Foreign Players Allowed to Bid Solo for 2G Auctions

The government on Friday allowed foreign entities to participate in the upcoming 2G auctions without an Indian partner. However, the players should form a joint venture with the Indian partner. According to the new guidelines issued on Friday by department of telecommunications (DoT), foreign entities can participate in the auctions directly and obtain a licence. This will make the upcoming auctions more attractive to certain foreign players such as Telenor, which wanted to bid directly without an Indian partner in the auctions.

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The notice inviting applications (NIA) issued on Friday said that companies interested in starting telecom business in India will have to pay Rs 1 crore for unified licence in a service area where they wish to operate. There will be a lock-in period of three years. The NIA lists out the rules and regulations governing the auction and is considered the only legally binding document regarding the auction. Potential bidders have until October 19 to submit applications. DoT will publish ownership details of bidders on October 21. By November 6, DoT will have the final list of bidders and a mock auction is expected to start on 7 November. The actual auction is expected to start on 12 November.

News source: Business Standard