Last Friday, India’s federal cabinet announced reserve prices for a court-mandated reauction of 122 second-generation (2G) wireless licenses that are significantly higher than the prices paid by bidders during the original auction process four years ago. Meanwhile, India’s telecom minister confirmed on Tuesday that the government would seek a minimum delay Current Telecom of three months to start the auction which, in conformity with an earlier decree of India’s Supreme Court, is required to take place by August 31. Citing improprieties during the original license process in 2008, the Supreme Court last February ordered the revocation and reauction of licenses that had been issued to joint ventures involving Telenor of Norway, Russia’s Sistema, and Emirates Telecommunications, among others. Telenor and other foreign investors had warned of terminating their operations in India if starting bid prices for the reauction were set too high, and Friday’s announcement raises that prospect. (Emirates Telecommunications and Bahrain Telecommunications ended their Indian ventures shortly after the court order was issued.) The base price for 5 MHz of bandwidth to provide GSM services nationwide was set at US$2.51 billion, which is more than seven times the cost of the original license, which was auctioned four years ago. Reserve prices for nationwide licenses using CDMA technology have been set at US$3.29 billion. To ease the financial burden faced by bidders, the cabinet has approved installment payments and the mortgaging of spectrum to raise funds. Meanwhile, Telenor—a member of the Unitech Wireless venture which, with other affected licenses, will no longer be allowed to operate on its current spectrum allotment come September—is vigorously protesting the government’s proposal to postpone the auction until November. Urging the government to adhere to the August 31 deadline set by the court, a Telenor spokesman lamented that “such delays . . . prolong the uncertainties we face.”