Spectrum auction February 2014: Bids total Rs. 58,332 crores by end of day seven

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Spectrum auction February 2014: Bids total Rs. 58,332 crores by end of day seven
Telecom companies have put in bids worth Rs. 58,332 crores in the spectrum auction at the end of 49 rounds on the 7th day of bidding on Monday.

The amount is about 86 percent of what the 3G auction fetched in 2010, although the current round has far more spectrum for two bands - 900MHz and 1800MHz - on the block.

"Total 49 rounds were over Monday. Total bids worth Rs. 58,332.82 crores were received which is 21.7 percent more than the total value of radiowaves put up for the auction, at the base or reserve price. Bidding will continue tomorrow," Telecom Secretary MF Farooqui said.

He added that bids worth Rs. 34,743.2 crores have been received for 1800MHz - about 98.8 percent of the total value of radiowaves put up for sale, at the base price.

However, in case of 900MHz, which has received bids worth Rs. 23,589.62 crores, the value has exceeded by 85 percent at the base price.

The government will now get at least Rs. 17,362.66 crores 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 instalments.

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 385MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band, and 46MHz in 900MHz band.

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