Spectrum auction concludes with total bids for Rs77,814.80 crore
03 March 2021
The latest round of auction of radio spectrum concluded today with three bidders – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea - bidding for a total of 855.60 MHz of the 2,308.80 MHz spectrum put to auction.
The 2,308.80 MHz spectrum put to auction included spectrum that is expiring by December 2021. Bids were received for855.60MHz of spectrum. This is about 60 per cent% of the spectrum put to auction, excluding spectrum in 700MHz and 2500MHz bands,.
Reliance Jio emerged the highest bidde securing 488.35 MHz of the spectrum worth Rs57,122.65 crore, the telecom ministry stated.
Bharti Airtel picked up 355.45 MHz radio waves worth Rs18,699 crore, while rival Vodafone Idea bought 11.80 MHz spectrum worth Rs1,993.40 crore, the ministry added.
Telecom Department secretary Anshu Prakash announced that the spectrum auction concluded at 12.45 pm on Tuesday after six rounds of bidding.
The participants did not bid in 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands. Four rounds of bidding (two each with stipulated activity levels of 80 per cent and 90 per cent) took place on 1 March while two rounds of bidding with stipulated activity level of 100 per cent took place on Tuesday, he said.
Through the auction, government said it will "receive revenue of about Rs19,000 crore to Rs20,000 crore in FY21."
"We expect this exercise to take about 10-15 days. Upfront payment of over Rs15,000 crore is expected this fiscal. Balance Rs10,000 crore-11,000 crore to come by next fiscal," it said.
Spectrum Usage Charge levied on the spectrum sold will be 3 per cent, the depatment said, adding, "If you exclude 700, 2500 MHz spectrum, 60 per cent of total spectrum is sold."
In terms of percentage of spectrum sold, 800 MHz - 65.22 per cent, 900 MHz - 38.87 per cent, 1800 MHz - 42.87 per cent, 2100 - 8.57 per cent, 2300 MHz - 89.29 per cent.
"With the deployment of additional spectrum acquired in this auction in the networks of Telecom Service Providers, the Quality of Service and customer experience of telecom consumers across the country are expected to improve," the ministry said.
Spectrum will be offered for assignment for a period of 20 years. Successful bidders can pay entire bid amount in one go (upfront), or exercise an option to pay a certain amount (25 per cent for spectrum won in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz bands or 50 per cent for spectrum won in 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz bands) upfront with remaining amount in a maximum up to 16 equated annual instalments, after a moratorium of two years. The government will get Rs12,000-13,000 crore in the current financial year and nearly the same amount is expected in the next fiscal.