2G spectrum auction resumes on demand in Bihar

The second day of auction for 2G spectrum started at 0900 hours today, on the back of demand for spectrum in the Bihar telelcom circle.

A Department of Telecommunications official replied in the affirmative when asked if the auction resumed on time this morning.

"Yes. Eighth round is in progress," the official said.

The government is auctioning eight blocks of spectrum having 1.25 megahertz airwaves frequencies in each circle.

As per the data made public, the last round of Day 1 (on November 12) saw bids for spectrum only in Bihar circle. Or else it would have ended on Monday itself.

The first round could end early today if participating companies do not opt for extension of bid rounds.

Five telecom operators -- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Telenor-promoted Telewings, Videocon and Idea Cellular -- had applied for participating in the auctions.

There was lukewarm response to the auction on Day 1, mainly due to higher base price of Rs 14,000 crore for 5 megahertz airwaves frequency on pan-India basis.

There were no bidders for spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Karantaka and Rajasthan.

There were seven rounds of bidding on Monday and demand for 98 out of 176 blocks of spectrum for auction was witnessed. The value of 98 blocks stood at Rs 9,224.75 crore at the end of day.

New players or companies, whose telecom permits were impacted by Supreme Court judgement that cancelled 122 licences, are required to bid for minimum of four blocks. Existing players can bid for maximum of two blocks.

The government has also assured to provide additional blocks of spectrum in all circles, except Delhi and Mumbai, if required by new players or companies for them to qualify in the auction.

The auction is for 1800 megahertz spectrum band - currently being used for offering 2G GSM telecom services.

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