pl refer to this link
USA aexerting pressure ...but good for us(indians)
US joins spectrum war, tells India to take auction route
15 Dec, 2007, 0850 hrs IST,Joji Thomas Philip & G Ganapathy Subramaniam, TNN
NEW DELHI: The US government has ‘strongly recommended’ to telecom minister A Raja that India adopt the auction methodology for allotment of second generation (2G) spectrum, as this was the best solution to the ongoing war for radio frequencies in India.
Ambassador David A Gross, co-ordinator for Bush administration’s international communications & information policy, has also offered to share expertise in spectrum auctions. The US views were conveyed to Mr Raja and senior officials of the telecom department by Mr Gross who is currently on a visit to India.
“We have done several auctions. We have an upcoming auction for radio frequencies in the 700 MHz. We have offered to share our expertise. A properly designed auction is the best way to allocate and assign spectrum for mobile licences. I have strongly recommended this to Mr Raja,” the top US official told ET in an exclusive chat here on Friday. The forthcoming spectrum auction in the US is expected to generate revenue of $10 billion for the US government.
Mr Gross’ mission would boost the hopes of US telcos such as AT&T who want to enter the wireless market in India and offer both voice and data services. Under the current policy, telecom licences which come bundled with start-up 2G spectrum are awarded on a first-come-first-serve policy. Applicants such as AT&T do not stand a chance under the existing policy as they are at the rear end of the queue.
More importantly, the department of telecom is only processing the applications of those companies who have applied before September 25, 2007 despite the government announcing that the cut-off date for filing applications was October 1. This virtually rules out any possibility of companies such as AT&T and Videocon (which is learnt to be partnering US communication giant Verizon) who have applied for licenses after September 25, from entering the Indian telecom market.
During his meeting with the telecom minister, Ambassador Gross also highlighted that all applications should be given an equal chance. “Why exclude those who have applied after September 25. Excluding some companies will not aid the process. It keeps revenues out of the government treasury. It may be possible that the highest bids could be from companies who have applied after September 25. India should establish a future date and all companies who have applied before this deadline must be allowed to bid,” he added.
When asked on the Mr Raja’s response to his suggestions, Mr Gross said: “The minister understands our views”. Mr Raja has repeatedly maintained that the government would not go in for a 2G auction due to the legal barriers involved. Ambassador Gross welcomed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement earlier this week that ‘the government must not lose sight of the revenue potential from this scarce resource.
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