The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 11 , 2014
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Spectrum bids set for 3G replay

New Delhi, Feb. 10: Telecom companies put in bids worth Rs 58,332 crore at the end of the seventh day of the auction, that has gone through 49 reounds of bidding.

The amount is about 86 per cent of what the 3G radiowave auctions fetched in 2010, although the current round has far more spectrum for the two bands — 900MHz and 1,800MHz — on the block.

“Total bids worth Rs 58,332.82 crore have been received, which are 21.7 per cent more than the total value of radiowaves put up for the auction, at the base or reserve price. Bidding will continue tomorrow,” telecom secretary M.F. Farooqui said.

Bids worth Rs 34,743.2 crore have been received for 1,800MHz — about 98.8 per cent of the total value of radiowaves put up for sale, at the base price.

However, in the case of the 900MHz, which has received bids worth Rs 23,589.62 crore, the value has exceeded 85 per cent of the base price.

Delhi stole the show today in the 900MHz band with the bid price placed at Rs 741 crore for 1MHz of spectrum, up about 12 per cent compared with the 3G price and more than double the base price fixed by the government.

For Calcutta, the bid price at Rs 194.63 crore per MHz is up over 55 per cent of the reserve price and 79 per cent higher than 3G price. Bids for Mumbai were about 72 per cent higher than the base price at Rs 563 crore per MHz but lower than the 3G price by 13 per cent.

Telecom analyst Sudipto Bose said, “Bidders feel there is value in Delhi for which they are fighting. Calcutta and Mumbai look like having played out but one cannot be sure.”

In the 1,800MHz band, Assam saw a four-fold jump in spectrum price at Rs 26.95 crore per MHz. In Maharashtra, the bid price closed at Rs 265.7 crore per MHz, about 1.5 times of base price, while Madhya Pradesh closed at Rs 47.7 crore per MHz, more than double the reserve price. High demand was seen in Gujarat as well where the price increased 61 per cent.

Of the five online auctions, the present one is the largest in terms of the radiowaves on sale and the third longest till date in terms of duration. The 3G auction in 2010 lasted for 34 days, while the broadband wireless access spectrum sale ended in 16 days.