Bharti Airtel and Vodafone are locked with Reliance Jio to protect their spectrum they need to carry voice and data in world's 2nd biggest smartphone market.
The government’s spectrum auction proceeds stood at Rs 1,01,432 crore at the end of the ninth day of bidding on Friday, registering a marginal dip from the yesterday level, even as the quantum of all provisionally allocated 2G and 3G airwaves rose to 87 per cent.
As per the Department of Telecom, the total auction proceeds were Rs 1,02,057 crore till Thursday with sale of about 86 per cent of the available spectrum in various bands.
Bidding activity was witnessed in all the four bands on Friday, with 800 MHz continue to draw aggressive bids and 1800 MHz and 900 MHz too saw good bidding. Four circles of 2100 MHz also saw price increments during the ninth day.
Sources said around 20 circles in the four bands of 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHZ and 2100 MHz bands saw rise in prices.
“At the end of 55th round, over 87 per cent of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders. The provisional amount committed by bidders at the end of 55th round continues to be over Rs 1 as operators continue to bid aggressively for spectrum,” DoT said.
A majority of service areas are going at a premium over the reserve price with activity requirement set at 100 per cent, it added.
Bidding would recommence tomorrow as there is spectrum yet to be sold, the DoT said.
Incumbents Bharti Airtel and Vodafone are locked with Reliance Jio to protect their spectrum they need to carry voice and data in the world’s second-biggest smartphone market. In all, eight bidders are in the fray.
The government is not disclosing the names of the successful bidders as yet as a case is pending before the Supreme Court. The next hearing on the case is on March 26.
A total of 380.75 MHz of spectrum is on offer in the premium 900 MHz band, 1,800 MHz and 800 MHz, while 5 MHz is up for bidding in the 2,100 MHz band across 17 out of 22 telecom areas or circles in the country.
Meanwhile, industry body COAI said that a huge outgo in spectrum auction by telecom operators will increase rates for mobile calls and other services in the long term, although it may not have any immediate impact on tariffs.
According to a research report by Barclays, the spectrum payments by telecom operators will have a limited impact on their balance sheets in near term as the payments are on a deferred basis.
The 3G and BWA auction together fetched the government over Rs 1.05 lakh crore in 2010. The government had raked in Rs 62,162 crore from the last spectrum auction held in February 2014.