The 3G mobile licence spectrum auction concluded on Wednesday generating a big bonanza for the UPA government with the revenue touching somewhere in the region of Rs. 67,710 crore, almost twice than what was expected.
The Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications bagged the highest number of 13 circles followed by Bharti Airtel in 12, Idea in 11 and Tata and Vodafone in nine circles each, according to the Department of Telecom (DoT).
The pan-India bid stood at Rs. 16,750.58 crore.
The key circles of Mumbai and Delhi went to Bharti, Vodafone and RComm. Delhi spectrum went for Rs. 3,316.93 crore, while the bid for Mumbai closed at Rs. 3,247.07 crore. No single player could bag the pan-India licence for 3G mobile services.
The government had estimated raising Rs. 35,000 crore from sale of spectrum for 3G as well as Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) put together but the outcome of the first auction has beaten all expectations.
With the auction for BWA spectrum yet to begin, the revenue mop-up could go up further.
Besides Delhi and Mumbai, Bharti Airtel got 3G spectrum in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, U.P. (West), Rajasthan, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, North East and Jammu and Kashmir.
RComm would be able to offer 3G mobile services in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Kolkata, Punjab, North East and Jammu and Kashmir, other than Delhi and Mumbai.
Vodafone-Essar bagged Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, Haryana, U.P. (East).
On the other hand, Tatas, who have been denied 2G spectrum in Delhi, also lost out on 3G spectrum in Delhi. They, however, managed to get a slot in Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (West), Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab and Haryana.
The second paragraph of the above report said Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications bagged the highest number of 13 circles. It should have been Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel and Aircel all got the highest number 13 circles each.