The government on Saturday formally approved results of the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) auction and said the winners need to pay up the license fee by June 22.
“The results were considered and approved by the committee headed by the cabinet secretary. Winning bidders, including MTNL and BSNL, are required to pay the amount by June 22, 2010,” said a Telecom Ministry statement.
The auction for BWA spectrum ended Friday, swelling the government coffer by Rs.38,543.31 crore (over $8.56 billion).
The pan-India license price stood at Rs.12,847.77 crore (over $2.85 billion) at the end of the 16-day auction and 117 rounds in which 11 companies — Bharti Airtel, Reliance WiMax, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Augere Mauritius Ltd, Infotel Broadband Services, Qualcomm, Spice Internet Service Provider, Tata Communications Internet Services, Tikona Digital Networks and Vodafone Essar — took part.
The government had already allocated one block each of 20 MHz of unpaired spectrum to Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) in their respective service areas.
Infotel broadband services won licenses in all the 22 circles into which India has been geographically divided for telecom services. Aircel bagged seven slots, Tikon got five, Qualcomm and Bharti four each, and Augere emerged winner in one circle. Interestingly, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries announced on Friday the company has acquired a 95 percent stake in Infotel for Rs.4,800 crore (little over $1 billion) to enter the broadband services.