Spectrum bids reach Rs 56,554 cr after 42 rounds of auction

Spectrum bids reach Rs 56,554 cr after 42 rounds of auction

With telecom companies intensifying their fight to grab spectrum in both 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz band in the Delhi telecom circle in the on-going 2G auction, the government stands to get Rs 56,554 crore after 42 rounds of the bidding on the sixth day on Saturday.

“A total of 42 rounds are over. Bids worth around Rs 33,082.58 crore are received for 1,800 MHz and Rs 23,472.34 crore for 900 MHz. A total of Rs 56,554.92 crore. Auction will continue on Monday,” Telecom Secretary M F Farooqui said.

He said there will be a realisation of at least Rs 16,750 crore in the current fiscal if the operators opt to pay in installments. The government allowed bidders to pay part of the money upfront and the remaining amount over a maximum of 10 yearly installments.

The demand for radio waves is high in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata which are held by Vodafone, Airtel and Loop Mobile, as their licences are expiring in November.

The price in Delhi for 900 MHz has more than doubled to Rs 733.63 crore per MHz from the base price of Rs 360 crore. Mumbai was up 71.67 per cent to Rs 563.09 crore per MHz from Rs 328 crore per MHz. In Kolkata, price was up 55.70 per cent to Rs 194.63 crore per MHz from a base price of Rs 125 crore.

There is no time limit for the sale of spectrum and the duration of the current auction will depend on the appetite of the eight companies in the fray–Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Telewings (Uninor) and Reliance Communications.

Government has put on the block about 385 MHz of spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band. The auction started on February 3, following the cancellation of 122 licences by the Supreme Court in the 2G spectrum allocation case two years ago.

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