Spectrum Auction : Day 1 Bid Touches Rs 53,531 Cr

The first day of the ongoing spectrum auction saw bids of Rs 53,531 crore from the seven participating bidders with heavy demand witnessed in 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz bands.

Touted as the biggest spectrum auction till date, the bidding process that started on 1 October, however did not see any interest in the 700 MHz band which is put for sale for the first time and is the most expensive among all the airwave bands.

As was anticipated spectrum bands of 1800 and 2300 MHz were in much demand as these two bands are being used for 4G services and all the operators in the fray want to strengthen their 4G presence by pocketing as much airwaves as possible during the spectrum auction.

1800 MHz band saw aggressive bidding in circles like Mumbai, Maharashtra, Delhi, Gujarat and also in Andhra Pradesh.

Though 700 MHz was said to be the most coveted airwave brand before the start of the spectrum auction, it did not see any demand on the day 1. It could be because all the operators want to ensure their hand on the 4G airwaves and put their money on something that is required for their current needs rather than on something which will be used later. One more reason could be the high reserve price of the 700 MHz band which has been fixed at Rs 11,485 crore per MHz.

“The auction is on the expected lines- no bidding on 700 MHZ and 1800 MHZ showing interest and that too in the circle where there is some shortage. We should see some intensity over the next day or so and closure of the auction within the next week,” said Prashant Singhal, Global telecom leader, EY.

Besides 700 MHz, the pan-India reserve price of 800 MHz is fixed at Rs 5,819 crore, 900 MHz at Rs 3,341 crore, 1800 MHz at Rs 2,873 crore, 2100 MHz at Rs 3,746 crore and for 2300 MHz as well as 2500 MHz it has been fixed at Rs 817 crore.

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