India’s biggest telecom spectrum auction ended today after 19 days of fierce bidding that fetched about Rs 1.10 lakh crore to the government. “The auction has concluded,” an official source told PTI. The auction for airwaves in four bands ended after 115 rounds of bidding, a source said. Also Read - Telecom spectrum auctions to be free and fair: Ravi Shankar Prasad
The total value of bids stood at Rs 1,09,874 crore. The DoT will disclose details of the result and names of successful bidders after the Supreme Court’s permission as a case is pending before the apex court. The spectrum auction included airwaves held by nine licenses of Idea Cellular, seven each of Reliance Telecom and Vodafone and six permits of Bharti Airtel that were expiring in 2015-16. Also Read - Available spectrum very scarce in India: TRAI Chairman
These airwaves mostly included frequencies in 900 MHz band and 1800 MHz band. Government also auctioned airwaves in 1800 MHz band that remained unsold in 2014, and 800 MHz or CDMA band frequencies that were left after sale in 2013. Also Read - Reliance Communications acquires spectrum in 11 circles
A total of 380.75 MHz of spectrum was put on sale in the premium 900 MHz band, 1,800 MHz and 800 MHz, while 5 MHz was up for bidding in the 2,100 MHz band, used for 3G mobile services, across 17 out of 22 telecom.
As per auction document, in case of deferred payment option, telecom operators are required to pay an upfront payment of 33 per cent in case of 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz bands and 25 per cent for 900 MHz and 800 MHz bands within 10 calendar days of the close of auction. The winners will pay the rest of the amount over a period of 12 years — 2 years moratorium and then 10 yearly installments.
While Idea, Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communications participated in the auction mainly to defend their existing spectrum holding; Reliance Jio, Tata Teleservices, Telewings (Uninor) and Aircel participated to buy additional spectrum.