India rakes in Rs 56,554 crore after 42 rounds of spectrum auction

At the end of the sixth day of spectrum auction, India received bids worth Rs 56,554.92 crore for all 22 service areas in 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz bands after 42 rounds. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, Relaince Jio were among the top players.

“A total of 42 rounds are over. Bids worth around Rs 33,082.58 crore are received for 1800 Mhz and Rs 23,472.34 crore for 900 Mhz. A total of Rs 56,554.92 crore,” said Telecom Secretary MF Farooqui.

He further added, “There will be a realization of at least Rs 16,750 crore in the current fiscal if the operators opt to pay in installments. The bidders can pay the part of the money upfront and the remaining amount over a maximum of 10 yearly installments.”

In February 2012, the Supreme Court of India had canceled all the 122 unified access service licences issued in January 2008 by former telecom minister A Raja. As a result, the auctions are taking place again.

In 2008 spectrum auctions, the eight companies holding the licences together invested Rs 35,000-40,000 crore, of which two-thirds were put in by two telcos, Uninor and Sistema.

In this spectrum auction, DoT has put 385 MHz of airwaves in the 1800 MHz band and 46 MHz in the 900 MHz band on the block.

As Airtel and Vodafone’s rights over the bandwidth in Delhi and Kolkata are about to expire, this auction seems critical for them. The spectrum auction

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started on February 3 and will continue as long as the eight participants bid for the available frequencies.

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