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Videocon walks away from India's CDMA auction

The Indian consumer electronics giant has backed out of bidding for the 800MHz band in the upcoming 2G auction, leaving Tata Teleservices as the only registered bidder.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

India's CDMA spectrum auction is now down to one registered bidder after Indian consumer electronics giant Videocon has withdrawn its application to participate in the 800 megahertz (MHz) bid later this month.

In a report by Times of India Saturday, it cited unnamed executives with direct knowledge of the decision who confirmed Videocon's exit from the CDMA auction, leaving Tata Teleservices as the lone bidder. Videocon was the only company to register its interest in both GSM and CDMA airwaves, it noted.

Videocon's exit may force India's Department of Telecoms (DoT) to scrap the CDMA spectrum auctions, thereby lowering the potential revenues the government may garner from the 2G auctions.

The spectrum auction is scheduled for Nov. 12, and companies will get to bid for the 1800MHz bandwidth first. CDMA auction will take place two days after the 1800MHz auction is closed, it added.

Besides Videocon, other operators looking to bid for the GSM bandwidth include Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Telenor. The long-anticipated 2G auctions come after the country's Supreme Court revoked the existing 122 licenses issued by former telecoms minister A Raja due to fraud.

India's government had in August announced the reserve price for 5MHz of pan-India 1800MHz bandwidth at INR 140 billion (US$2.5 billion), while the reserve price for 5MHz of 800MHz bandwidth was pegged at INR 182 billion (US$3.3 billion).

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