1. Spectrum auction: Idea spends most for airwaves

Spectrum auction: Idea spends most for airwaves

Airtel, Vodafone next in line; govt raises record sum of R1.09 lakh crore.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: March 27, 2015 10:43 AM
Spectrum auction, Spectrum auction news, Spectrum auction latest, Spectrum auction bids

Aditya Birla Group’s telecom arm, Idea Cellular, which won the maximum spectrum, especially in the premium 900 MHz band in the recently concluded auction, will pay Rs 30,306.98 crore. PTI

Aditya Birla Group’s telecom arm, Idea Cellular, which won the maximum spectrum, especially in the premium 900 MHz band in the recently concluded auction, will pay Rs 30,306.98 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel (Rs 29,130.2 crore), Vodafone India (Rs 25,959.74 crore), Mukesh Ambani’s RIL’s telecom arm RJIO (Rs 10,077.53 crore), Tata Teleservices (Rs 7,851.33), Reliance Communications (Rs 4,299.13 crore) and Aircel (Rs 2,250 crore).

Norway’s Telenor was the only company out of the eight telcos that participated in the auction but did not to win any airwaves. The two state-run telcos BSNL and MTNL did not participate.

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The current value of bids of Rs 1.09 lakh crore has not only surpassed Rs 82,000 crore of the estimated target of the government but also ahead of the May 2010 auction, when the total value of bids were at Rs 76, 000 crore and Rs 30,000 crore came from BSNL and MTNL taking the total bids then at Rs 1.06 lakh crore.

Taking credit for the fiercely contested auction, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said the government exchequer would in all receive a record Rs 1,09,874.91 crore, of which Rs 28,872.7 crore will have to be paid by telecom companies which have won airwaves within 10 days. “In this auction, about 89% of total spectrum put for auction got sold,” he said, urging telcos to pay upfront in six days to help the government meet its budget targets for 2014-15 fiscal.

“I will appeal to all bidders to pay by March 31,” Prasad told reporters, adding that there must not be any hike in call tariffs.

Telecom companies are required to make an upfront payment of 33 % in case of 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands and 25 % for 900 MHz and 800 MHz bands within 10 calendar days of the close of the auction that ends on April 4.

As per auction norms, in case of deferred payment option, the winners after paying the upfront amount will get a two-year moratorium and then have to pay the rest of the amount over a period of 10 yearly installments.

The spectrum was sold at about 68% premium, for Rs 1,09,874.91 crore. At the base price fixed by the government, its value was Rs 65,463.40 crore. About 11% remained unsold which also included 800 Mhz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz (3G) bands.”I believe when the entire regime is conducted in a fair and transparent manner, people do trust. I would like say one thing to my esteemed predecessor who talked about zero loss that if they would have done what I have done they would have got the same result,” Prasad said.

The minister countered industry experts terming auction determined spectrum as very high that will lead to hike in mobile call and other services rates.

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