The government's telecom spectrum auction kitty today decreased to Rs 1.05 lakh crore with provisional allocation of 88 per cent airwaves at the end of day 17. The amount of bids received on Saturday stood at Rs 1.07 lakh crore. "At the end of 104th round, about 88 per cent of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders.
The provisional amount committed by bidders is over Rs 1,05,000 crore," the Department of Telecom said. According to sources, the premium 900 Mhz continued to witness bidding for the circles of Rajasthan, UP East and West and Assam circle also saw bidding in the band. Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, North East and UP East saw bidding in 800 MHz band whereas UP East and West also saw activity in 1800 Mhz band.
Brisk bidding was seen today with activity requirement set at 100 per cent and 7 rounds were completed. "There is robust bidding going on in 900 MHz and 800 MHz bands," it said. The government had got about Rs 1.06 lakh crore from the sale of 3G and BWA spectrum in 2010. In the auction held last year, the government netted Rs 62,162 crore.
The auction will continue on Tuesday as there is still some spectrum left which is yet to be sold. Across all bands, 9-10 telecom circles witnessed activity. Care Ratings in a report has said that "the consumers will have to bear the brunt of tariff hikes which will become inevitable for the operators to realise returns on these huge investments". 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. 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. A total of 380.75 MHz of spectrum is on offer in 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 800 MHz bands, 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.