Spectrum Auction: Bid amount exceeds Rs. 77,000 Cr

On the first day of spectrum auction in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Vodafone Idea have submitted provisional winning bids of Rs. 77,146 crore.

The bid amount has substantially exceeded pre-bid estimates of Rs. 45,000 crore. A total of 2308.80 MHz spectrum is being put to auction, out of which there have been bids for 849.20 MHz so far. The participants did not bid in 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands.

The e-auction is based on Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending Auction (SMRA) methodology. Available spectrum in all bands is simultaneously put to auction in all the Licensed Service Areas (LSAs).

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 so far are 37% and 19% respectively with 3 participants.

In 700 MHz, 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands, bidders are required to pay 25% of the final bid amount as upfront payment. In the rest of the bands, bidders are required to make payment of 50% of final bid amount upfront. The balance amount (after upfront payment) will be payable in 16 equated annual instalments after a moratorium of 2 years. Spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders and is valid for 20 years.

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