Delhi telecom circle continues to be in demand

Another Rs.2,000 crore were added to government kitty at the end of the fifth day of the ongoing spectrum auction on Friday, taking the total value of bids so far to about Rs.54,600 crore. Spectrum in both 900 MHz and 1800 MHz band in the Delhi telecom circle continues to be in demand, while positive bidding was also witnessed for a few more circles for 1800 MHz band.

“Activity is on in eight service areas…Bidding will continue tomorrow morning,” Telecom Secretary M. F. Farooqui told journalists here, and added that the total value of the bids was Rs.54,600 crore after 35 rounds of bidding. At the end of the fourth day of bidding on Thursday, eight telecom companies that are in the fray, had jointly made bids worth about Rs.52,600 crore.

In the 900 Mhz band, bids in Delhi have now went up by over 90 per cent to Rs.684.68 crore per MHz from a base price of Rs.360 crore. In two other metro circles — Mumbai and Kolkata — where the same band of spectrum is also available, bidding has been incremental by over 71 per cent at Rs.563.09 crore and 55 per cent at Rs.194.63 crore, respectively.

The demand is high in these three circles as licences of some existing operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India are expiring in November this year.

In the 1800 MHz band, bidding is gradually picking up. On Friday, three telecom circles — Assam, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh (West) — saw positive bidding. On Thursday, five circles — Uttar Pradesh (East and West), Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh — had seen positive demand for 1800 MHz.