Industry

Idea emerges largest cross-spectrum bidder

NEW DELHI, 26/03/2015: Union Minister for Communication & IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad brief media about Telecom Spectrum Auction at Sanchar Bhavan today, March 26, 2015. Governmet of India earn whopping 1.1 lakh crores in 4 band spectrum auction.   | Photo Credit: Prashant Nakwe

The government on Thursday announced the results of the biggest auction of 2G and 3G airwaves after Supreme Court lifted its embargo. Idea Cellular, the country’s third largest operator, bid a maximum of Rs.30,306.98 crore to buy spectrum in the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands. Airtel and Vodafone bid Rs.29,130.20 crore and Rs.29,959.74 crore, respectively, in the same bands.

Mukesh Ambani-run Reliance Jio and Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communication bid bought spectrum in 800 MHz and 1800 MHz bands for Rs.10,077.53 crore and Rs.4,299.13 crore, respectively.

Tata Teleservices will shell out Rs.7,851.33 crore for radiowaves in 800 MHz and 1800 MHz, while Aircel will pay Rs.2,250 crore for spectrum in 1800 MHz band. Norway’s Telenor was the only company participant not to win any spectrum.

On February 26, the apex court allowed the government to go ahead with the auction of spectrum of bands 800, 900, 1800 and 2100 for all States from March 4. However, it said the result of the auction should not be finalised without its permission.

Motivated campaign

Dismissing statements by mobile service operators that the aggressive bidding for telecom spectrum would lead to a hike in mobile tariffs, Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “According to TRAI estimates, each mobile user talks for 350 minute per month on an average. With about 97 crore mobile connections, we get a figure of 4,07,400 minutes of calls a year. If you divide this by yearly payout of Rs 5,300 crore, the load on every consumer will come to about 1.3 paisa per minute. Therefore, increase in tariffs is not a problem.”

In an interview to The Hindu, the Minister said, “I think a lot of it (criticism) is motivated. It is a part of a pattern, when we started there was criticism over not enough spectrum being put for auction... and now it is being said tariffs would go up… don’t forget, the spectrum has been allocated for 20 years.”

Mr. Prasad said, “These campaigns should stop. India is a big market with lots of promise for growth, economic development; particularly with the Digital India project, data processing is going to become bigger. All companies willingly participated in the auctions because it was a good business proposition.”

Mr. Prasad said these auctions were important as they reinforced the image of the government “where decisions are transparent, reasonable and on predictable lines.”

He added, “World over spectrum is not given for free. Although some of the operators would have been happier, if we would have given it to them for free.

That can not be done, it is sovereign property. If all my worthy predecessors, patrons of zero loss theory, would have done what we have, may be they could have gotten the same results.”

The government is to receive upfront payment of Rs.28,872 crore from the operators. While the first instalments to be paid in 10 days, the Minister appealed to the telecom operators to pay the same in six days instead because of this financial year ending on March 31.



Auction fetches Rs.1.10 lakh crore

The Department of Telecom has disclosd the results and the names of successful bidders after the Supreme Court granted permission
bands

up for auction

19
days

of fierce bidding

115
total

rounds of bidding

4
The auction included airwaves held under nine licences of Idea Cellular, seven each of Reliance Telecom and Vodafone and six of Bharti Airtel that are set to expire Telecos are required to pay upfront 33 per cent of the bid amount for the 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz and 800 MHz bands within 10 calender days of the close of auction. The winning bidders will pay the rest of the amount over a period of 12 years - two years moratorium and then 10 yearly installments.
Rs.1,09,874 cr: Total value of bids that the government got in spectrum auction The spectrum auction conducted in 2010 brought about Rs.1.06 lakh crore, which included Rs.30,000 crore payment from BSNL and MTNL



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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 8:27:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/idea-makes-highest-winning-bid-for-telecom-spectrum/article7035949.ece

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