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Nine companies apply for 3G spectrum in India

Nine telecom operators, including market leaders Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications, have applied for radio frequency spectrum to provide third generation (3G) telephony.

"Nine companies have applied for 3G," a department of telecommunications (DoT) official said here Friday, the last day for submitting applications.

For broadband services, the department has received applications from 11 companies, including Bharti Airtel, Qualcomm, Tata Communications, Tikona and Vodafone.

"We have applied for 3G as well as broadband wireless access services," an Airtel spokesperson told IANS.

The government hopes to garner Rs.35,000 crore ($7.69 billion) from the spectrum auction that will begin next month.

The two state-run telecom companies, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, already have licences for 3G services. Both have been offering the service in their operating circles for the last one year.

Third generation telecom services allow faster connectivity than what is available now, and will enable applications such as Internet TV, video-on-demand, audio-video calls and high-speed data exchange. (IANS)

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