Spectrum Auction Ends, Government to Get Rs. 1,09,874 Crores

Spectrum Auction Ends, Government to Get Rs. 1,09,874 Crores
India's biggest telecom spectrum auction ended Wednesday after 19 days of fierce bidding that fetched about Rs. 1,10,000 crores to the government.

"The auction has concluded," an official source told PTI.

The auction for airwaves in four bands ended after 115 rounds of bidding, a source said.

The total value of bids stood at Rs. 1,09,874 crores.

The DoT will disclose details of the result and names of successful bidders after the Supreme Court's permission as a case is pending before the apex court.

The spectrum auction included airwaves held by nine licences of Idea Cellular, seven each of Reliance Telecom and Vodafone and six permits of Bharti Airtel that were expiring in 2015-16.

These airwaves mostly included frequencies in 900MHz band and 1800MHz band.

Government also auctioned airwaves in 1800MHz band that remained unsold in 2014, and 800MHz or CDMA band frequencies that were left after sale in 2013.

A total of 380.75MHz of spectrum was put on sale in the premium 900MHz band, 1800MHz and 800MHz, while 5MHz was up for bidding in the 2100MHz band, used for 3G mobile services, across 17 out of 22 telecom.

As per auction document, in case of deferred payment option, telecom operators are required to pay an upfront payment of 33 percent in case of 2100MHz, 1800MHz bands and 25 percent for 900MHz and 800MHz bands within 10 calendar days of the close of auction.

The winners will pay the rest of the amount over a period of 12 years -- 2 years moratorium and then 10 yearly instalments.

While Idea, Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communications participated in the auction mainly to defend their existing spectrum holding, Reliance Jio, Tata Teleservices, Telewings (Uninor) and Aircel participated to buy additional spectrum.

At the minimum or auction start price, the total value of spectrum in 2100MHz band stood at about Rs. 17,555 crores and that of in 800MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands was about Rs. 64,840 crores.

The price of airwaves in 800MHz and 900MHz has seen significant rise over the value fixed by government.

The price of 800MHz spectrum, currently being used for CDMA, saw about two-fold rise over the base price across various telecom service areas in the current auction.

There was no taker for this spectrum in 2012 auctions and only one bidder in auctions held in March 2013.

The 3G auction conducted in 2010 was the longest auction that ended after 34 days of bidding and fetched government about Rs. 67,718 crores. The 3G auction along with spectrum for broadband wireless access airwaves, that can be used for 4G, jointly fetched government bids worth Rs. 1,05,000 crores.

The government got commitment of about Rs. 62,162 crores from the sale of 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum in 10 days long February 2014 auction

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