The bonanza season is over. !
It precisely took 16 days and 117 rounds of bidding to wrap-up the auction process for Broadband Spectrum Auction (BWA). The Manmohan Singh government is expected to garner Rs.38500 crore from the sale of broadband airwaves.
Rs. 67,719 crore from 3G + Rs.38, 543 (est.) for BWA = Rs.1,06,262 crore
Yes, this is what the exchequer is likely to fetch as revenues from the combined auction process of next generation 3G and broadband airwaves.
The pan-India BWA price stood at a whooping Rs.12848 crore.
After quenching their thirst for the scarce spectrum from the 3G auctions, large telcos have clearly taken a break from the expensive BWA bids in the leading circles of Mumbai and Delhi.
The BWA auction has seen emergence of Infotel and Qualcomm as the leading winners in the premium Mumbai and Delhi circles at bids as high as Rs.2293 crore and 2241 crore respectively.
In fact, what comes as an absolute surprise is Infotel’s triumph as a pan-India winner in all the 22 circles.
On the other hand, Aircel (not Airtel) has emerged as the next big winner with winning bids for 8 circles. However, the company has missed the bus in leading 4 circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Bharti Airtel has managed to win bids in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kolkata and Punjab. While Qualcomm has found favourable response in the key circles of Delhi and Mumbai apart from other two circles like Kerala and Haryana. Tikona triumphs in 5 circles.
If one compares the 3G bid prices in leading circles such as Delhi at Rs.3317 crore and Mumbai at Rs.3247 crore, the demand for BWA spectrum in both these circles at Rs.2241 crore and Rs.2293 crore, seems to be at a run-away premium as compared to 3G costs, though bids from both the diverse technologies are not strictly comparable.
In fact, telecom analysts are still ambiguous whether these players should use the BWA spectrum for offering services using WiMax technology platform or TD-LTE. Both the wireless technologies can be deployed on broadband spectrum.
Apparently, scarcity of slots could have led to such high price levels for the BWA airwaves. In the current auction process, two all-Indian broadband licenses are on offer while a third set has been reserved for the state-run firms such as BSNL and MTNL.
Over Rs.1 lakh crore… C/f to the Finance Ministry.