Spectrum Auction 2021: Bid amount exceeds Rs 77,000 crore on Day 1

Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Rs 77,146 crore worth of spectrum was bid on the first day but there were no takers for the airwaves in the premium 700 and 2,500 MHz bands.
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India's first auction of spectrum in five years attracted Rs 77,146 crore of bids on the opening day on Monday with Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea putting in bids.

Auction of spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz, and 2,500 MHz bands commenced at 10 a.m. on Monday. Four rounds of bidding took place till 6 p.m. Another one or two rounds are expected tomorrow.

Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Rs 77,146 crore worth of spectrum was bid on the first day but there were no takers for the airwaves in the premium 700 and 2,500 MHz bands.

Bidding has taken place for spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz and 2,300 MHz bands. The participants did not bid in 700 MHz and 2,500 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).

According to the press statement, a total of 2,308.80 MHz spectrum is being put to auction, out of which there have been bids for 849.20 MHz so far. Excluding spectrum in 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands, this is almost 60 percent of the spectrum put to auction.

In the 2016 spectrum auction, where there were seven bidders, the spectrum sold was 41 percent by quantity and 12 percent by value of the total spectrum put to auction. The corresponding figures in the 2021 spectrum auction so far are 37 percent and 19 percent respectively, with three participants.

Spectrum which will be assigned to the successful bidders is valid for 20 years, it stated.

"Three bidders – Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Idea Ltd, and Reliance Jio Infocomm – are participating in the auction. The value of the spectrum for which there are provisional winning bids is Rs 77,146 crore. This has already substantially exceeded pre-bid estimates of Rs 45,000 crore. Bidder-wise details of quantity won and amounts payable will be available only after conclusion of the auction," said Ministry of Communications in a statement. 

The auction will resume on Tuesday morning, and is expected to conclude tomorrow.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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