Watching India set its policy on telecoms auctions is like watching a game of tennis – there’s so much back and forth, you get a sore neck.
Although the country is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing telecoms markets, there were few takers at the last auction for 2G spectrum thanks to the high base price the government set. So what’s the latest volley (to prolong the tennis metaphor…)? Read more
Less than a year after Thailand’s much criticised auction of 3G mobile data spectrum, the country is putting digital TV licences up for sale.
The auction, planned for August or September, looks likely to shake up the broadcasting sector as Thailand attempts to modernise its most powerful advertising medium. Read more
No-one likes the feeling of being ganged up on.
State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court of India accusing Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone of colluding during bidding for 3G spectrum licences, in yet another addition to the long-running saga over sharing arrangements between telcos. Read more
A little temporary relief in the Indian telecoms sector.
Shares in Bharti Airtel picked up on Monday afternoon, correcting much of the morning’s loss, after Delhi’s High Court ruled that the Indian telecoms company can continue – for now – offering 3G service in regions where it doesn’t have its own airwaves until May 8. Read more
Another auction, another disappointment for India’s Department of Telecommunications.
A second round of 2G auctions was scheduled for March 11 but when the “List of Applicants” was published this week, it didn’t actually qualify as a list. Only one possible bidder signed up. Read more
India’s latest 2G telecoms auction was, as beyondbrics reported, a giant flop – it raised barely a quarter of what the government had forecast, as operators balked at what they felt were sky-high reserve prices.
Ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s have both threatened sovereign credit downgrades if India doesn’t get its fiscal house in order, and the $7.3bn the government had been planning to raise through the auction was meant to be, at least partly, a measure of its ability to close up its massive fiscal deficit – estimated to be around 5.9 per cent of GDP. Read more
Norway’s Telenor emerged on Wednesday as the biggest buyer in India’s controversial mobile telecom spectrum auction. Read more
Young Indonesians’ enthusiasm for smartphones and social networking has helped boost economic development and has been good news for the likes of RIM, which sells millions of its Blackberry phones in the country each year, and Facebook.
But, unless the government frees up more spectrum to meet surging demand for mobile data services, the mobile phone network could end up resembling the Jakarta traffic system – clogged up, unable to function properly and stymieing economic growth. Read more