New Delhi, March 19: The government received commitments of Rs.109,000 crore from telecom operators at the end of bidding on Thursday, the 14th day of radio frequency spectrum e-auctions. “The bidding is taking place in all bands. Brisk bidding was seen on the 14th day of bidding, with activity requirement set at 100 percent. There was robust bidding in 1800 MHz and 800 MHz bands,” the Department of Telecom (DoT) said in a statement here. Six fresh rounds of bidding were seen on Day 14.
“At the end of the 86th round, over 89 percent of the spectrum has been provisiolly allocated to bidders. The provisiol amount committed by bidders at the end of 86th round is over Rs.109,000 crore,” it said. “Majority of service areas are going at a premium over reserve price. The competitive bidding is expected to continue. There is still spectrum, which is yet to be sold. Bidding would recommence tomorrow, that is, March 20, 2015 at 9 a.m,” the statement added. Day 13 on Wednesday saw commitments of Rs.108,000 crore from telecom operators at the end of bidding after 80 rounds.
The commitments come over and above the Rs.200,000 crore that India Inc has already bid under the two phases of auctions for award of coal blocks. But the proceeds from this auction will go to the respective state governments over 30 years. The central government has budgeted for Rs.43,161.72 crore from e-auctions of spectrum for the current fiscal while the reserve price for the entire spectrum on offer in the four bands, across India, was around Rs.80,000 crore. The bids so far have well exceeded these numbers. The maximum bids of 85 were received for Tamil du circle with a winning amount of Rs.45 crore per block in the 1800 MHz band. However, this circle saw 10 less bids. The second highest bids of 75 were received for Punjab circle with a winning amount of Rs.72.15 crore per block in the 900 MHz band. This circle also saw three less bids. The eight telecom service providers participating in the auctions are Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Tata Teleservices, Uninor, Idea Cellular and Aircel. They have submitted earnest money of Rs.20,435 crore, which is two-and-half times what had been called for. (ians)