India’s government deferred the start of the country’s forthcoming spectrum auction by two days, with the process now set to begin 1 October.
The auction, which could raise as much as INR5.6 trillion ($83 billion) in line with the reserve price set, was scheduled to begin 29 September, but has been delayed to coincide with the start of a religious festival, which is considered auspicious, reported Economic Times.
The country’s Department of Telecom (DoT) issued a notice to confirm the move, after operators “demanded” that the sale should begin at the start of the festival, said the publication.
Earlier this month, operators also reportedly requested a delay on separate grounds, arguing that the plan to hold a mock auction on 26 and 27 September, and the real thing on 29 September, did not leave enough of a gap.
The operators said a three or four day gap would be preferable.
The government is offering 2,354.55MHz of spectrum in seven bands – 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2500MHz, and the auction is widely tipped to be the country’s largest to date.
In recent weeks, experts have however attempted to dampen forecasts, because of the high base price set.
India’s last auction, in March 2015, raised INR1.1 trillion.