Spectrum Auction 2015: Highlights

–The biggest ever spectrum auction in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands kicks off on March 4.
— Eight telecom companies–Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Tata Teleservices, Uninor, Idea Cellular and Aircel, participate in the auction.
— Idea Cellular’s nine circles, Airtel’s six circles, Vodafone’s seven circles and Reliance Communications’ seven circles face expiry in 2015-16, which is about 80 per cent of the subscriber base of telcos.
— Reliance Jio pays the highest Earnest Money Deposit of Rs 4,500 crore, followed by Rs 4,336 crore by Bharti Airtel. Overall,eight telcos deposit Rs 20,435 crore.
— The government fixes a reserve price of Rs 3,423 crore per MHz for 800 MHz frequency, Rs 3,399 crore for 900 MHz band, Rs 1,425 crore for 1,800 MHz band and Rs 3,511 crore per MHz for 3G spectrum.
— Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL), which provides CDMA services under MTS brand, opts out of auctions, citing high spectrum prices.
— As per rules, the bidders would pay a quarter to a third of the winning price initially and the rest by 2027.
— In case of deferred payment option, telecom operators require to pay an upfront payment of 33 per cent in case of 2100 MHz, 1800 Mhz bands and 25 per cent for 900 MHz and 800 MHz bands within 10 days of the close of auction.
— The winners of the auction would be announced by the government after March 26 when the Supreme Court issues its ruling on multiple cases with respect to auction guidelines and criteria.
–The government had garnered Rs 62,162 crore from the last spectrum auction in February 2014.

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