The government today said foreign firms would be allowed to bid for spectrum for third generation mobile services and will start auctioning the radio waves from January 14, 2010.
"Interested foreign entities are allowed to participate in the auctions directly and apply for licences subsequently," the revised Information Memorandum, giving details about eligibility criteria and time schedule said.
Foreign entities can operate telecom services in India only through an Indian subsidiary with not more than 74 per cent foreign share holding, subject to the approval of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
The Department of Telecom (DoT) has said the auction of 3G spectrum would be carried out in four stages -- invitation stage, pre-qualification, auction and grant of spectrum.
The DoT would hold a pre-bid conference on November 16 and the mock auction would be conducted on January 11-12 next year.