India’s 3G Auction Delay Amounts to $16Bn Loss

India’s 3G auction delay has been a classic bureaucratic story – first it was slated for Jan 15th, 2009 and then moved to Jan 30th and finally, it’s being stretched to the end of this year (speculated).

The loss, as per a report by LECG corp is of the order of $16 Billion (in direct investments/national productivity gains).

What’s interesting to note is that even though BSNL and MTNL have 3G spectrum, they aren’t able to sell it (read: 3G in India – Gloomy subscription numbers from BSNL and MTNL) – so it’s imminent that private players should be given 3G spectrum.

The biggest loss, to me is the ecosystem of content developers which private players would have otherwise created and in turn, created the 3G economy for India. The ecosystem would have given an opportunity to several small players/startups to participate in the 3G economy.

Fresh Dates for 3G Auction?

If (and only if) there aren’t any major hurdles, 3G auction will be done by year end. The proposal for auction may be cleared by Cabinet (and not GoM).

We just hope that govt. sticks to it’s timelines and get the process started.

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