Government has received over Rs 32,400 crore in upfront payments for telecom spectrum that was sold in the recently-held auction with five operators, including Bharti Airtel and newcomer Reliance Jio, paying Rs 19,981 crore today. The Department of Telecom (DoT) had set the deadline of October 20 for depositing the upfront payments for spectrum bought by operators in the auction that ended on October 6. Vodafone and Tata Teleservices had made payments of Rs 10,139 crore and Rs 2,309 crore, respectively, yesterday. Five more operators, including Airtel and Reliance Jio, today deposited a total of 19,981 crore with DoT today, taking total payments to Rs 32,400 crore so far. Also Read - Airtel new prepaid plans with free Disney+ Hotstar subscription launched: Here are the detailsAlso Read - Airtel plans with free Disney+ Hotstar to watch T20, IPL 2021 matches livestream online
“Total upfront payment received by the government for spectrum auction this year stands at over Rs 32,400 crore, higher than the upfront payment it received last year,” a source in the DoT said. The operators were required to pay 50 percent of the bid amount upfront for spectrum bought in 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz, and 2500MHz bands, and 25 percent of the bid amount in the case of spectrum in bands up to 1Ghz. In all, seven operators had placed bids of Rs 65,789 crore for 964.80MHz of spectrum out of 2,354.55 MHz across seven bands put on offer. At the base price, total spectrum put on sale was worth Rs 5.6 lakh crore.
The upfront payments, however, are short of the government’s target of getting Rs 64,000 crore from auction this fiscal. Bharti Airtel has paid about Rs 7,121 crore under the deferred payment option along with another Rs 445 crore as full payment towards spectrum it bought in circles of Rajasthan and North East. Idea Cellular paid Rs 6,398 crore, Reliance Jio Rs 5,930 crore, Aircel Rs 55 crore and Reliance Communication Rs 32 crore as deferred payment. ALSO READ: Telcos debt to increase to Rs 4.25 trillion after the spectrum auction: Report
Bharti Airtel had bought Rs 14,244 crore worth of spectrum, while Idea Cellular put in Rs 12,798 crore of bids. Newcomer Reliance Jio spent Rs 13,672 crore on spectrum buying. Other operators which bought spectrum included RCom (about Rs 65 crore) and Aircel (Rs 111 crore). All these companies have also submitted financial bank guarantees as well, sources said. The companies, however, did not comment on the matter. Aircel could not be reached for its comments, while mails to Reliance Jio remained unanswered. ALSO READ: Spectrum auction protected with high security amid fears of cyber attacks