Telcos pay Rs 67,719 crore towards 3G spectrum fee

Bharti Airtel paid the highest Rs 12,295.46 crore for 3G spectrum (radio waves) in 13 circles, followed by Vodafone Rs 11,617.86 crore. State-owned BSNL also paid Rs 10,186.56 crore for the radio waves across India, except in Delhi and Mumbai.

Anil Ambani group firm RCom deposited Rs 8,585.04 crore. The company has bagged spectrum in 13 circles including in Delhi and Mumbai.

The government had earlier projected to collect Rs 35,000 crore from the sale of spectrum for 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) services put together.

But with nearly Rs 33,000 crore coming in as extra from 3G spectrum auction alone, the government is hoping to reduce its fiscal deficit to around 5 per cent of GDP from the estimated 5.5 per cent in the current financial year.

Spectrum by September

The situation may further improve with collection from BWA spectrum, auction for which is in process.

All the successful bidders would be getting the spectrum in September this year after it is vacated by the Defence forces. 3G services will offer subscribers high-speed data services on mobile phones, which they would be able to avail of by the first quarter of next year.

MTNL, which offers telecom services only in two circles of Delhi and Mumbai, paid Rs 6,564 crore for the 3G spectrum.

All private telecom operators barring BSNL and MTNL, had participated in the 34-day long auction process that ended on May 19 and due to intense competition no single player could bag the airwaves throughout the nation.

Among other private operators, Idea Cellular, Tatas, Aircel and STel have also paid their respective bid amount to the Department of Telecom (DoT).

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