DotEcon (partnering with local firm NM Rothschild India) was awarded the contract to design and implement spectrum awards by auction in India for a fixed period. This will include, at a minimum, the award of spectrum for 3G services (2.1GHz) in 2x5MHz blocks and for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) services (2.3GHz, 2.5GHz) in 2x20MHz blocks.
Spectrum will be awarded on a regional basis; bidders will have the opportunity to bid for spectrum in each of the 22 ‘circles’ that together represent a complete national footprint. A block of spectrum for both 3G and for BWA services will be reserved for state operators MTNL (which operates in Delhi and Mumbai) and BSNL (which operates in all other regions). These operators will be required to pay the auction price for this spectrum once the auctions have been completed.
The Indian mobile market is one of the main growth markets in the telecoms sector. Mobile penetration is currently only about 35%; India has around 400 million mobile subscribers at present. This market has been growing rapidly; mobile penetration in India six years ago was only 1%, and approximately 10 million new subscribers are being added per month my mobile operators at present.