India’s long-awaited auction of 3G spectrum is expected to generate INR350 billion (US$7.26 billion), reports Reuters, citing the country’s annual budget outlined on Monday. This figure is up 75 percent from an earlier target of INR200 billion. A Light Reading report notes that the budget forecast indicates that the finance ministry has likely got its way in wanting the reserve price for each spectrum block to be doubled to INR40.4 billion (US$838 million). 

The auction of 3G spectrum in the world’s fastest-growing major mobile market has already been delayed several times, and no definitive auction date has yet been given (although it will likely happen before December). India’s Department of Telecoms plans to auction 3G and/or WiMAX spectrum in 20 of India’s 22 telecom service areas. State-owned mobile operators BSNL and MTNL have already begun 3G network rollout, though both will eventually be required to pay a license fee equivalent to the highest price paid in the private auction. The auction was originally scheduled to take place in January this year.