NEW DELHI, Feb 18 (Reuters) - India plans to hold a third
round of auction of unsold mobile phone airwaves in 18
telecommunication zones immediately after it completes a sale in
other zones in March, to comply with a court order, a senior
government official said on Monday.
The telecommunications ministry is also considering
increasing the quantum of airwaves it has put on block in the
Karnataka and Rajasthan zones in the auction due in March, R.
Chandrashekhar, secretary at the ministry said.
The Supreme Court of India last week directed the government
to auction all airwaves that would be vacated after cancellation
of 122 zonal permits, which it had earlier ordered to be revoked
after a massive scandal over a 2008 sale.
Sale of mobile radio spectrum along with stake sales in
state-run companies is crucial for the government's plan to cut
its fiscal deficit. But an airwave auction in November raised
less than a quarter of its target of $7.4 billion as companies
stayed away saying the minimum bid price was too high.
The government is auctioning airwaves in March in four zones
-- Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka and Rajasthan -- that did not get
any bids in the November auction.
Chandrashekhar said the quantum of airwaves being sold in
the Delhi and Mumbai zones were already compliant with the court