Spectrum auction ends: brings Rs 100,000 crore to govt

Spectrum auction in India for telecom operators concluded on Wednesday. The government could mobilize nearly Rs 100,000 crore or nearly $16 billion from the spectrum auction.

Indian telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Reliance Communications, Aircel, Uninor and Tata Teleservices were in the fray to purchase spectrum in the 800 MHz, 900 Mhz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands.

The Rs 100,000 crore indicates that there was further dip in the provisional bidding from Rs 109,000 crore on Tuesday. Rs 100,000 crore or $16 billion is way below the nearly $40 billion or around Rs 240,000 crore the US government mopped up during the recent spectrum auction in America.

The spectrum auction will be a boom for telecom network vendors such as Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, etc. Though fund mobilization towards spectrum auction will put additional pressure on telecoms, they will be prompted to invest more in networks and find new revenue streams to cut down debts.

Earlier, the government has fixed a reserve price of Rs 3,423 crore per MHz for 800 MHz frequency, Rs 3,399 crore for 900 MHz band, Rs 1,425 crore for 1,800 MHz band and Rs 3,511 crore per megahertz for 3G spectrum.

QoS to improve after spectrum auction

“Vodafone India participated in the recent spectrum auction to ensure continuity of business and service to our customers. We remain committed to providing seamless connectivity and superior communication services to our customers across the country. We will make a further announcement once the DoT announces the results of the auction,” said Vodafone spokesperson.

The government will announce the winners of the spectrum later in the wake of the recent Supreme Court order. Reliance Jio Infocomm, the only pan-India 4G operator, is expected to have participated aggressively in e-auction of spectrum. For Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone, bagging additional spectrum was aimed at ensuring continuity. MTS India and Videocon Telecom did not attend due to their focus areas in limited towns.

Image: The Hindu

Baburajan K