Spectrum auction ends: Govt fails to sell 700 Mhz, 900 Mhz
Most of the activites were seen for 2300 Mhz spectrum, which got sold out on the first day of the auction.
The five day Spectrum Auction concluded on Thursday without any bids for highly priced 700Mhz and 900Mhz. After 31 rounds, the government received bids worth Rs 65,789 crore, Aseem Manchanda reported.
Out of 2353Mhz, the spectrum auction sold a total of 965Mhz, which is just 40% of the total spectrum that was placed on block for auction. The auction generated bids worth Rs 65,789 crore, out of which, the government will get Rs 32,895 crore as upfront revenue. This spectrum auction was expected to fetch bids worth Rs 5.63 lakh crore.
Even on the last day of spectrum auction, the telecom operators or bidders ignored the highly priced 700 Mhz and 900Mhz bands. Earlier today, a government official had said that they might attempt to sell the unsold spectrum seperately in two years at lower reserve price to spur demand, Bloomberg reported.
Till yesterday, India’s biggest spectrum auction which began on October 1, had witnessed bids worth Rs 64,451 crore after 23 rounds of bidding from seven telecom operators on Thursday.
Most of the activities were seen for 2300 Mhz spectrum, which got sold out on the first day of the auction and 1800 MHz becoming the second popular choice of telecoms.
New entrant in Telecom sector, Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio acquired 269.2 Mhz spectrum in the 800 Mhz, 1800 Mhz and 2300 Mhz for Rs 13,672 crore.
Bharti airtel, one of the bidders, in a release said that it has acquired 173.8 Mhz spectrum across 1800/2100/2300 MHz bands for a total consideration of Rs 14,244 crore in the latest spectrum auction.
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “At the outset, we would like to thank the Government for making abundant spectrum available for auctions. Airtel now has a solid spectrum portfolio that will enable it to continue leading India’s data revolution. We remain fully committed to the Government’s Digital India vision and will continue to invest towards making world-class and affordable data services available to customers in every corner of the country.”
During the auction, Aditya Birla led telecom arm, Idea Cellular had acquired 349.20Mhz of spectrum for Rs 12,798 crore.
Seven telecom companies had applied for this spectrum auction, and together had brought in bids of around Rs 14,563 crore.
The government was auctioning for the largest ever spectrum 2,354 MHz across seven bands - 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz. The radiowaves can be used for 2G, 3G and high-speed 4G mobile services.
Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications and Aircel are in the fray for the spectrum auction.