On the first day of spectrum auction, the government received winning bids worth ₹77,146 crore as against its expectation of ₹45,000 crore, said Union communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on March 1.
There were only three bidders – Airtel, Vi, and Reliance Jio – this year, as against seven bidders during the last spectrum auction in 2016.
This year the government is offering spectrum across seven bands—700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1,800MHz, 2,100MHz, 2,300MHz, and 2,500MHz.
The spectrum bought will be valid for 20 years.
Spectrum auction begins today: All you need to know
Earlier, Telecom Secretary Anshul Prakash had said that with the spectrum auction, the Union government is expecting a revenue of Rs 12,000-13,000 crore.
Among other details, the telecom secretary mentioned includes that 65 percent of the 800 MHz spectrum were sold which account for almost 50 percent of revenue raised. Also, 89 percent of the 2300 MHz spectrum were sold which account for about 17 percent of revenue raised.
Meanwhile, on day 1 of spectrum auction, 38 percent of the 900 MHz spectrum were sold, while 41 percent of 1800 MHz spectrum were sold. Also, 9 percent of 2100 MHz spectrum were sold too.
Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated that “If one removes 700, 2500 MHz spectrum, over 60 percent of spectrum our up for auction has been sold”, adding, “If no interest is expressed in 700 MHz spectrum, legal requirement will be to approach TRAI on pricing”. However, Telecom Secretary stated that contribution of 800 MHz is 50 percent was this time as it is widely used for 4G. The bidding to continue March 2 also.
The Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) amount by Reliance Jio is the highest among the bidders at Rs 10,000 crore, earning the highest eligibility points followed by Bharti Airtel at Rs 3000 crore and Rs 475 crore by Vodafone Idea.
All the bidders have an option to pay upfront 50 percent of the final bid for 1,800, 2,100, 2,300, and 2,500 MHz bands, and the remaining amount can be paid in equated 16 instalments over a period of two years at the interest rate of 7.3 percent, following the two years moratorium. For 700, 800 and 900MHz bands, the upfront amount is 25 percent of the successful bid.
The final bidders will also be required to pay three percent of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) excluding wireline services as spectrum usage charges for the spectrum won through this auction.
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