Spectrum Auction Garners Bids Worth Rs. 94,000 Crores at End of Day 5

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Spectrum Auction Garners Bids Worth Rs. 94,000 Crores at End of Day 5
After day five of auctions for radio frequency spectrum or airwaves for telecom operators on Monday, the government had a total commitment of Rs. 94,000 crores in terms of highest bids from the eight companies in the fray with 31 rounds gone through so far, an official statement said.

"The bidding has taken place in all bands. At present, a value of approximately Rs. 94,000 crores has been committed by bidders in respect of provisionally won spectrum. There is still spectrum, which is yet to be sold. Bidding would recommence tomorrow (Tuesday), that is, 10-03-2015 at 9am IST," an official statement by the Department of Telecom said.

"Today (Monday) 7 rounds of bidding were completed. Till now, 31 rounds of bidding have taken place," it added.

This is more than double the amount the finance ministry had budgeted for from sale of spectrum this fiscal at Rs. 43,161.72 crores, as also one-time spectrum fee and other licence-related levies.

The maximum bids of 78 were received for the Tamil Nadu circle with a winning amount of Rs. 45 crores per block in the 1800MHz band. However, this circle saw 17 less bids.

However, there were no bids for the 2100MHz band on Monday.

Till Day Four, 24 rounds of bidding took place with a total offer of Rs. 86,000 crores.

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 crores, which is two-and-a-half times what had been called for.

The total spectrum put up for auction is 103.75MHz in 800MHz band, 177.8MHz in 900MHz band and 99.2MHz in 1800MHz band for second generation (2G) telephony.

The government has also put up 5MHz in the 2100MHz band for third generation (3G) telephony.

The government had fixed a reserve price of Rs. 3,646 crores for pan-India per megahertz for 800MHz frequency, Rs. 3,980 crores for 900MHz band and Rs. 2,191 crores for the 1800MHz band.

The government also fixed a reserve price of Rs. 3,705 crores per megahertz for the frequency for 3G spectrum.

As per estimates, at the base price alone, the auction will translate into some Rs. 82,000 crores, even as the government expects the actual process to fetch over Rs. 100,000 crores.

The finalisation of the bids is subject to the Supreme Court's directive, where the matter is being heard.

This would mean the government could realise well over the budgeted Rs. 43,161.72 crores as non-tax receipts under the head of "other communications", the bulk of it from the spectrum auction, as also in much smaller way from entry fee from new operators and related levies.


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