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    Spectrum auction: Winning bid Rs 77,000 crore so far; no taker for 700 MHz, 2500 MHz, says govt

    telecom | IST

    Spectrum auction: Winning bid Rs 77,000 crore so far; no taker for 700 MHz, 2500 MHz, says govt

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    The government had anticipated winning bids of Rs 45,000 crore, Prasad said

    Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said Rs 77,146 crore is the winning bid in the spectrum auction till 6 pm. The auction will continue for half a day tomorrow. The spectrum auction began with 2,251.25 megahertz (MHz) radiowaves valued at Rs 3.92 lakh crore up for bidding. The auction entailed seven frequency bands for mobile services 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands.
    However, bids were not received for 700 MHz and 2500 MHz. "If one removes 700 MHz and 2500 MHz spectrum, over 60 percent of the spectrum up for auction has been sold. If no interest is expressed in the 700 MHz spectrum, the legal requirement will be to approach TRAI on pricing," Prasad said. The government had anticipated winning bids of Rs 45,000 crore, Prasad said, adding that the details of the bidder will be disclosed later.
    Unlike 2016, there were only three bidders this time - Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea. There were seven bidders in 2016.
    In terms of percentage sold for different frequency bands, it is 65 percent for 800 MHz, 900 MHz - 38 percent, 1800 MHZ - 41 percent, 2100 MHz - 9 percent, 2300 MHz - 89 percent. Revealing a few details, Prasad said the 800MHz spectrum sold accounts for almost 50 percent of the revenue raised and 2300MHz for about 17 percent.
    The current auction does not include frequencies in 3,300-3,600 MHz bands that were identified for 5G services, which will happen later. "We should be coming with an eco-system for 5G trials very soon. We will be sharing more details at an appropriate time for 5G auctions," Prasad said.
    Successful bidders can pay the entire bid amount in one go (upfront), or exercise an option to pay a certain amount (25 percent for spectrum won in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz bands or 50 percent for spectrum won in 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz bands) upfront with the remaining amount in a maximum up to 16 EMIs, after a moratorium of two years.
    Spectrum will be offered for the assignment for a validity period of 20 years.
    With inputs from PTI
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