Spectrum auction: Day One sees seven rounds of bidding (Roundup)

New Delhi, Feb 3: Seven rounds of bidding were completed in the first day Monday in the second generation (2G) spectrum or airwaves auction that began in the morning, an official here said. Eight mobile phone service providers are participating in the auction for 46 MHz in 900 MHz band and 385 MHz in 1,800 MHz band

At the end of the first day of bidding, data released by the Department of Telecom showed that the 1,800 MHz band received bids in all 22 circles and the 900 MHz band received bids in all three circles which are up for auction.

Demand for Mumbai circle was the highest in 900 Mhz and highest demand for 1,800 MHz was from Gujarat at the end of the seventh round.

The eight mobile phone service providers participating in the auction are Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Telewings, Aircel, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular.

The total spectrum on offer is 46 MHz in 900 MHz band (only Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata) and 385 MHz in 1,800 MHz band (all 22 circles) simultaneously. The government expects to mop up Rs.40,874.50 crore from this spectrum auction.

The auctioning of the airwaves is done to obtain a market determined price of the spectrum. This auction does not have any last date. It will go on every week from Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. till the time telecom service providers keep bidding.

The service providers will bid using fixed Internet Protocols (IP) as dynamic IP addresses are not allowed.

The objectives of the auctions are to obtain a market determined price of spectrum in 1,800 MHz and 900 MHz bands through a transparent process; ensure efficient use of spectrum and avoid hoarding; stimulate competition in the sector; promote rollout of the respective services and maximise revenue proceeds from the auctions within the set parameters.

Times Internet Limited and e-Procurement Technologies Limited are advising the government on the auction. Administration of the e-auction is the responsibility of e-Procurement Technologies Limited.