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Telecom spectrum auction kitty rises to $17.5B

By PTI
24 March, 2015

Government’s kitty from the telecom spectrum auction today rose to Rs 1.09 lakh crore with the provisional allocation of 89 per cent radiowaves made at the end of the 18th day.

The amount of bids received yesterday had declined to Rs 1.05 lakh crore from Saturday’s Rs 1.07 lakh crore.

“At the end of 110th round, about 89 per cent of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders. The provisional amount committed by bidders at the end of 110th round is over Rs 1,09,000 crore,” the Department of Telecom said.

In the stretch of 18 days, it was the first time that auction for the day closed with no excess demand in any of the telecom service areas, indicating that the auction may resume on Wednesday without any price increment. The price in auction round increases when there is demand for more spectrum blocks than the quantum put for sale.

According to sources, the premium 900 Mhz continued to witness bidding for the circles of Rajasthan and UP East. UP West, North East, Maharashtra and Delhi saw bidding in 800 MHz band whereas UP East saw activity in 1800 Mhz band.

Brisk bidding was seen today with activity requirement set at 100 per cent and 6 rounds were completed.

“There is robust bidding going on in 900 MHz and 800 MHz bands,” it said.

The government had got about Rs 1.06 lakh crore from the sale of 3G and BWA spectrum in 2010. In the auction held last year, the government netted Rs 62,162 crore.

The auction will continue on tomorrow as there is still some spectrum left which is yet to be sold.

Across all bands, 5-6 telecom circles witnessed activity.

Care Ratings in a report has said that “the consumers will have to bear the brunt of tariff hikes which will become inevitable for the operators to realise returns on these huge investments”.

The government is not disclosing the names of the successful bidders as yet as a case is pending before the Supreme Court. The next hearing on the case is on March 26.

Incumbents Bharti Airtel and Vodafone are locked with Reliance Jio to protect their spectrum they need to carry voice and data in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market. In all, eight bidders are in the fray.

A total of 380.75 MHz of spectrum is on offer in 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 800 MHz bands, while 5 MHz is up for bidding in the 2,100 MHz band across 17 out of 22 telecom areas or circles in the country.


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Telecom spectrum auction kitty rises to $17.5B

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