Spectrum auction concludes; response better than expected

Total bids for Rs 77,814.80 crore, Total quantity of spectrum for which right to use acquired is 855.60 MHz

GN Bureau | March 2, 2021


#department of telecommunications   #auction   #specturm   #Telecom   #DoT   #ministry of communications  
(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)
(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)

India on Tuesday concluded the spectrum auction after a total of six rounds of bidding. The authorities described the response as better than expected, with total bids valued at Rs 77,814.80 crore. The quality of service and customer experience is expected to improve with deployment of additional spectrum acquired in networks of telecom service providers.

“The value of the spectrum for which there are winning bids is Rs 77,814.80 crore. Hence, incremental bids for Rs 668.20 crore were made today,” said Anshu Prakash, secretary, department of telecommunications, ministry of communications. Tuesday was the second and concluding day of the spectrum auction 2021. The e-auction was based on Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending Auction (SMRA) methodology.

The secretary said that the bidding took place for spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz bands. The total quantity of spectrum for which right to use has been acquired in these bands is 855.60 MHz. The participants did not bid in 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands. Four rounds of bidding (two each with stipulated activity levels of 80% and 90%) took place on Monday and two rounds of bidding with stipulated activity level of 100% took place Tuesday.

Three bidders – Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Idea Ltd, and Reliance JioInfocommLtd – participated in the auction. Bidder-wise details of quantity of spectrum acquired and amounts payable are as follows:
Bharti Airtel Ltd: Total quantity: 355.45 MHz, Total amount: Rs 18,698.75 crore
Vodafone Idea Ltd: Total quantity 11.80 MHz, Total amount: Rs 1,993.40 crore
Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd: 488.35 MHz, Total amount: Rs 57,122.65 crore

A total quantity of 2308.80 MHz spectrum was put to auction, including spectrum that is expiring up to December, 2021. Of this quantity, bids were received for855.60MHz of spectrum. Excluding spectrum in 700MHz and 2500MHz bands, this is about 60% of the spectrum put to auction. In the 2016 spectrum auction, where there were 7 bidders, the spectrum sold was 41% by quantity and 12% by value of the total spectrum put to auction. The corresponding figures in the 2021 spectrum auction are 37% and 19% respectively, with three participants.

Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) for the spectrum acquired in this auction will be payable at the rate of 3% of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of the licensee, excluding revenue from wireline services. The auction is concluded and these provisional results are subject to scrutiny and approval by the Government.

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.
 

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