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Govt plans to start bidding for airwaves on November 12

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An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) decided to seek an extension of the August 31 deadline set by the Supreme Court for auctioning the spectrum vacated from February cancellation of the 122 'faulty' licences.

The government may ask the apex court time till November to begin the auction.

"Auctioneer has given us schedule... We will approach the Supreme Court to place before them the fact what government has done. Also, we will place before them that in terms of this schedule, it is not possible to conduct auction by August 31," Telecom Minister told reporters after the EGoM meet.

As per the schedule drawn by Department of Telecommunications (DoT), bidding is expected to start on November 12.

"Number of days taken for the auction to complete would depend upon actual bidders' behaviour. Hence, DoT tentatively thinks that it will be able to assign spectrum to winners by January 30, 2013," an official said.

In 2010, the 3G auction was completed in 34 days after completion of 183 rounds of bidding and BWA auction took 16 days to end after 117 rounds of bidding.

Yesterday, the Department of Telecom selected Times Internet Ltd (TIL) as the spectrum auctioneer.

The EGoM, headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, today discussed the schedule which DoT has prepared in consultation with TIL. Sibal said the government will file an interim application before the court and request it to consider the facts as stated. (MORE)


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