Finally, I was able to go through the 136 page document. I am very excited about this auction as 3G marks the beginning of Telecom 3.0 in India 🙂 [Sam Pitroda was Telecom 1.0 and current 2G is Telecom 2.0] DoT has stated its goal is to maximize revenue proceeds from the Auctions in a timely and transparent manner with efficient use of spectrum and avoid hoarding. [Hopefully, they’ll be transparent in the entire process]
Bid Eligibility: So finally DoT had its way over TRAI in letting Foreign Telcos with experience to bid in the 3G + WiMax BWA auction. However, Foreign Telcos are subject to the 74% FDI in Indian Telecom and have to establish an Indian subsidiary with a local partner after the auction and apply for a UAS / CMTC license. Incumbents as well as new licensees holding UAS / CMTS are eligible to bid without any experience clause. For Wimax Spectrum bids, entity could be a Category “A” or Category “B” ISP or furnish an undertaking to obtain a UAS / CMTS license. A clear picture of bidders will unfold around the 10th of Jan’09 when qualified bidders list will be published.
Service Obligations: Winning bidders will be granted the license for a period of 20 years. They additionally have to fulfill service obligations – cover at least at least 50% of the District Headquarter area, out of which at least 15% of the DHQs should be rural Short Distance Charging Areas within a period of 5 years from the date of allotment of spectrum
Mergers & Acquisition: The document states,
The market share of the merged entity in the relevant service area shall not be greater than 40% either in terms of subscriber base separately for wireless as well as wireline subscriber base or in terms of Adjusted Gross Revenue.
Infrastructure Sharing: Passive infrastructure sharing, already in practice and shall be permitted. Active Infrastructure sharing excluding the spectrum will be permitted and essential amendments will be made shortly.
Auction Bid Participation and Process: Telcos are required to submit 25% of the reserved price in each circle for 3G + WiMax spectrum as bank guarantee. List of qualified bidders, ownership data etc will be made public before the commencement of auction. At the end of the final Clock Round, the following information will be provided to Bidders,
the Winning Prices; the Winning Bids made by that Bidder (if any); the number of unsold lots in each service area (i.e. the number of lots available less the total number of Winning Bids in each service area).
Winning Bidders will pay the sum of the relevant Winning Prices set in the Clock Stage plus their Winning Bids in the Assignment Stage. In the event of a tied outcome with more than one assignment producing the same total value of Winning Bids, the tie will be broken by selecting one of the tied outcomes at random. [ Why not go for an auction between the two ? ]
For 3G, the document mentions high speed data transfer speeds of at least 144 kbps. It would have been nice, had they made it at least 256 kbps in accordance with the definition of broadband in India. Stay tuned for regular updates. Working right away on getting information on which way the Telcos will bid. You are welcome to post your comments and thoughts.