Telecom companies jointly made bids of about Rs 52,700 crore at the end of the fourth day of the spectrum auction, driven by high demand for premium 900MHz airwaves in the metros of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
“We are in the process of completely transforming the sector and giving back to it the confidence that it had prior to its decline in 2010…the auction is doing well from the revenue standpoint,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said after Thursday’s rounds closed.
Telecom Secretary MF Farooqui said the total value of the bids was Rs 52,689 crore, of which Rs 30,754 crore came for 2G spectrum in the 1,800MHz band and Rs 21,935 crore was for the premium 900MHz band.
The minister attributed the demand to various factors, mainly the new licencing regime that allows telecom companies to provide services using any technology and rationalization of reserve prices and spectrum usage charges, besides providing enough bandwidth for all players to compete.
At the end of day four, for the first time there was no excess demand for the 900MHz band in any of the metros.
Bids for the 900MHz band in Delhi came in at Rs 639.24 crore per megahertz, 78 percent higher than the base price of Rs 360 crore fixed by government.
In Mumbai, bids at Rs 563.09 crore per MHz were 72 percent higher than the reserve price and in Kolkata they were 54 percent higher at Rs 192.71 crore.
There was excess demand for 1,800MHz band spectrum in Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, UP East and UP West service areas, because of which the auction will resume tomorrow.