Bids worth Rs 59K cr pour in for spectrum by end of day 8

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 11 2014, 05:36am hrs
BidsThe government has put on the block about 385 Mhz of spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band, and 46 Mhz in 900 Mhz band. Reuters
The government has received about Rs 59,000 crore of bids in the ongoing auction of telecom spectrum at the end of the 8th day, with demand for the premium 900 Mhz band appearing to taper off.

"A total of 56 rounds are over. There is activity in five service areas. Total bids worth Rs 58,980.29 crore were received, which is about 23 per cent more than the total value of radiowaves put up for the auction from the base price," Telecom Secretary MF Farooqui said.

Bids worth 35,390.67 crore have been received in 1800 MHz band, which is 100.6 per cent of its value at the base price, and Rs 23,589.62 crore in 900 Mhz, about 85 per cent higher.

In an indication that bids are stabilising for the 900 Mhz band, no change was witnessed from yesterday in the price and bidding for the three circles of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

However, activity picked up in the 1800 Mhz band for Delhi and Mumbai. The price for Delhi has more than doubled to Rs 364 crore per megahertz, from a reserve price of Rs 175 crore per Mhz whereas Mumbai has seen a jump of 52.51 per cent to Rs 251.65 crore per Mhz from a base price of Rs 165 crore.

Other circles witnessing activity in 1800 Mhz include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana and Kerala.

The price in Andhra Pradesh has increased to Rs 163 crore per Mhz from a base price of Rs 130 crore, Assam price has risen to Rs 30.7 crore per Mhz from Rs 7 crore.

The total amount bid so far is about 87 per cent of what 3G radiowaves auction fetched in 2010, although the current round has far more spectrum for the two bands on the block. The 3G auction in 2010 had fetched the government Rs 67,718.95 crore.

The government will now get at least Rs 17,576.32 crore in the current fiscal from the auction in case companies opt for instalment mode.

The bidders can pay the part of the money upfront and the remaining amount over a maximum of 10 yearly instalment.

At Rs 741 crore per megahertz bid, the price of 900 Mhz band in Delhi has more than doubled compared to base price fixed by government. For Kolkata, at Rs 194.63 crore per Mhz, it is up by over 55 per cent and for Mumbai, Rs 563 crore per Mhz it is about 72 per cent higher than the reserve price.

Out of five online spectrum auctions, the present auction is largest in terms of radiowaves on sale, and third longest till date in terms of duration.

3G auction in 2010 lasted for 34 days, broadband wireless access (BWA) ended in 16 days. 2G auction in November 2012, on the other hand, ended in just two days, while the CDMA auction in March last year concluded the same day.

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.

The government has put on the block about 385 Mhz of spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band, and 46 Mhz in 900 Mhz band.