Telecom Roundup: Essar Eyes African Telecom, 3G Auction Postponed

Essar Eyes African Telecom

It seems that Africa has become a de facto ground for any Indian Telecom company that is planning to invest abroad and why should it not be? African nations are undergoing a development phase and major changes and naturally become a sweet spot for the investment in various avenues. The average mobile penetration for the continent is 37 per cent, expected to rise to 61 per cent by 2012 which again attracts the Telecom Industries.  We have already told you about MTNL’s plans of entering Nigeria and Airtel’s ventures in Africa. And now Essar has joined the race too.

According to a news report The Essar Group The Essar Group has prepared a telecom blueprint for Africa under which it would invest $2 billion to get 20 million customers and more, spanning six to seven countries in the region and also is in talks with the South African government to set up a power plant. With so many Indian players entering the African Telecom Atmosphere conflicts are bound to arise back home and competition is going to get fierce. Let’s hope these telecom players do not compromise on quality in India in order to expand their operations abroad.

3G Auction Postponed

After creating a lot of Buzz in the mobile ecosystem in India, the 3G Auctions have now taken a deep slumber! Yes, the 3G auctions have now been postponed to a later date. We had told you earlier that the 3G auction is planned to take place on the 25th of February 2010. The Department of Telecommunications is now facing a problem of shortage of 3G slots and plans to auction only those slots which can be allotted by September this year.

Since the government will charge upfront payment for auction of 3G spectrum from the operators within 15 days of auction, a failure to allot the spectrum to the auction winners might lead the private telecom players to drag the DoT to court and the auction winners may ask for compensation. DoT currently has two slots for auction, a third slot will be available by September 2010 and the fourth slot will be vacated by the Defense Ministry in 2013.

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