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24 bids for India’s 4th cellular license

Reliance, Bharti, MTNL, VSNLand BPL Communication are among 24 companies who have showninterest in becoming India's fourth cellular player.

NEW DELHI (Asia Pulse)--Reliance, Bharti, MTNL, VSNL and BPL Communication are among 24 companies who have shown interest in becoming India's fourth cellular player. Tenders close on Thursday.

"There are 24 companies who have purchased tender documents to participate in the three-stage bidding process to acquire licenses for the fourth cellular slot in the country," official sources told PTI.

Besides the companies named above, Himachal Futuristic Ltd (HFCL), Birla AT&T Communication, Aircell Ltd, Escotel Telecom, Spice Telecom, Sterling Cellular and RPG Netcom are among the 24.

"The last date for submission of bids is June 29, 2001. The successful bidders are likely to be declared by July 19 and the licences will be signed by August this year," sources added.

The government has issued a draft license agreement document for the fourth cellular license, giving 12 more days to prospective bidders to analyse the document before bidding on June 6.

According to sources, about 40 amendments were made in the draft license agreement according to guidelines issued on January 5 this year by the government.