The bids for pan-India 3G telephony spectrum touched Rs. 8,382 crore, up 140 per cent from the base price, on the 14th day of auction on Monday.

Among individual circles, Mumbai received the highest bid at Rs. 1,264.84 crore, followed by Rs. 1,209.66 crore for Delhi —— considered the most lucrative circle by service providers.

Going by the bids submitted by nine operators including Bharti, Vodafone, Idea and RCom, at the end of 82nd round, the government is assured of mopping up at least Rs. 33,895 crore from the sale of spectrum.

However, the bids were still focussed on metros and ‘A’ category service areas.

The government had estimated a revenue of Rs. 35,000 crore from sale of spectrum for 3G and Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) services, auction for which would begin two days after the one for 3G spectrum is completed. The base price for BWA spectrum is fixed at Rs. 1,750 crore for pan—India operations.

Telecom Minister A. Raja had earlier said that revenues of the government could touch Rs. 45,000 crore from the auction of 3G and BWA spectrum put together.

After Mumbai and Delhi, Maharashtra’s bid was quoted at Rs. 823.77 crore followed by Tamil Nadu at Rs. 769.45 crore.

According to sources in the Department of Telecom (DoT), the pan—India price may go up once the activity in ‘B’ and ‘C’ category service areas begin.

Eleven operators are in the fray to grab spectrum for just two slots.

Keywords: 3GspectrumDoT

More In: Companies | Business