NEW DELHI (TIP):
The third round of spectrum auction commenced for the fifth day on February 7 with Delhi witnessing an upward revision in prices for both the premium 900 Mhz and 1800 MHz band. “Auction has started. There is excess demand in circles including Assam, J&K, MP, West Bengal, UP (E) and UP (W),” a Department of Telecom (DoT) official said. At the end of fourth day, telecom companies have jointly made bids worth about Rs 52,689 crore. The government has got bids of around Rs 30,754 crore for 1800 Mhz band and Rs 21,935 crore for 900 Mhz band.
The price of 900 Mhz in Delhi shot up by about 78 per cent to Rs 639.24 crore per megahertz as compared to the base price of Rs 360 crore fixed by the government; whereas for the 1800 MHz band, the reserve price rose by 5 per cent to Rs 230 crore a MHz. The auction for the fourth day ended with no excess demand for the first time for 900 Mhz in any of the three metros — Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. In Mumbai, the price of 900 Mhz band increased by 72 per cent to Rs 563.09 crore for a Mhz and in Kolkata by 54 per cent to Rs 192.71 crore. Government has put on auction about 385 megahertz of spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band, which started on February 3, following a February 2013 Supreme Court order.
Government is auctioning airwaves in 900 Mhz band in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, which are held by Vodafone, Airtel and Loop Mobile through their licences which are expiring in November. The 3G auction in 2010 lasted for 34 days, while the auction in November 2012 lasted for 2 days and March auction last year lasted only one day. In November 2012, bids worth Rs 9,407 crore were received for spectrum worth Rs 28,000 on offer. In March 2013, no GSM operators bid at the auction and only CDMA operator Sistema Shyam bought spectrum of about Rs 3,600 crore in eight of the 21 service areas.