Spectrum Auction Raises 1,09,874 Crores After 19 Days Of Fierce Bidding


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Day 19 Update – Auction Ends with Rs. 1,09,874 Cr

The much hyped and fiercely fought Indian Telecom Spectrum Auction has ended after 19 days and 115 rounds of bidding. Government has accrued a total of Rs. 1,09.874 crore rupees from this auction, the largest till date.

Approximately, 89 percent of total spectrum available to operators was sold, while the rest 11 percent remained unsold. 8 Telecom operators – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea cellular, Reliance Jio, Reliance communications, Tata Docomo, Aircel and Uninor had participated in the auction.

The list of spectrum winners have not been disclosed throughout the auction as per Supreme Court’s order. The hearing for the same is scheduled for tomorrow after which the winners will be declared.

We will update this post as soon as winners are announced, so stay tuned.

Check out below our daily updates on Spectrum auction.

Day 18 Update [March 24th] – Rs.1,09,000 Cr Total Bids

Day 18 saw surge of Rs. 4000 crore from previous day taking the total bid amount to Rs. 1,09,000 Crore. This amount is equal to Day 14, after which the bids had fallen.

6 rounds of bidding were completed on Day 18. bringing the total to 110 rounds. The DoT said in a statement, “The bidding is taking place in all bands. Brisk bidding was seen on 18th day of bidding, with activity requirement set at 100 percent. There is robust bidding going on in 900 MHz and 800 MHz bands,”

“At the end of 110th round, about 89 percent of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders. The provisional amount committed by bidders at the end of 110th round is over Rs.109,000 crore. Majority of service areas are going at a premium over reserve price”, the statement further added.

Here is how bids have progressed over past 18 days.

Spectrum Auction Day 18 Chart

Day 17 Update [March 23th] – Rs.1,05,000 Cr Total Bids

It looks like a game of Seesaw right now with total bid amount falling by 2000 crore to Rs. 1,05,000 Cr. The Telecom spokesperson said, “At the end of 104th round, about 88 per cent of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders. The provisional amount committed by bidders is over Rs. 1,05,000 crore,”

Activity was witnessed in 900MHz band in circles of UP East / West, Rajasthan and Assam. In the 800MHz band there was activity in Bihar, UP East, Madhya Pradesh and North East circles.

In 1800MHz band bidding activity was seen in UP East and West circles. The 2100MHz band did not see fresh bids. Only UP East circle witnessed excess demand.

Day 16 Update [March 21st] – Rs.1,07,000 Cr Total Bids

After a fall on Day 15, sixteenth day saw the bids increase by 2000 crore to reach Rs. 1,07,000 crore. The amount is still lower than Day 14 when bids were Rs. 2000 crore higher.

However, all the bands are seeing robust activity in bidding. 5 rounds of bidding was completed today, bringing the total up to 97 rounds till date.

Like yesterday, 900 MHz witnessed quite a lot of interest from operators. It was the only band to have excess demand in Rajasthan circle.  The 800MHz band saw activity in Madhya Pradesh and North East circles. There was no fresh demand for 2100MHz band and spectrum in that band still remains unsold in Mumbai, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh

88 percent of spectrum has been provisionally allocated till Day 16.

Day 15 Update [March 20th] – Rs.1,05,000 Cr Total Bids

Day 15 saw a big dip in total bid amount – falling by over 4000 crore to Rs. 1,05,000 Crore. 6 rounds of bidding was completed on Day 15 and reached a total of 92 rounds.

88 percent of spectrum has been provisionally allocated to operators.

Interestingly, after a lull of about 4 days, 900 MHz band suddenly saw some renewed interest from Telecom operators.

There was excess demand for 800MHz in North East circle. In the 900MHz band, there was surplus demand in Rajasthan, UP East and UP West circles. In 1800MHz band there was surplus demand in Himachal Pradesh. In 2100MHz, there was no excess demand.

Day 14 Update [March 19th] – Rs.1,09,000 Cr Total Bids

Day 14 seemed to be replica of previous day with total bid amount reaching Rs. 1,09,000 crore, an increased of Rs. 1000 crore. 6 rounds of bidding was completed with total rounds completed till date being 86.

Like previous day, 800 MHz band saw aggressive bidding from telecom operators and 3 circles Delhi, North East and Maharashtra have excess demand. According to DoT officials “Robust bidding is going on in 1800 Mhz and 800 Mhz bands and the competitive bidding is expected to continue,”

Except, 2100 MHz all bands witnessed some activity in 6-8 circles as per sources. About 89 percent of spectrum has been provisionally allocated by end of Day 14.

Given that over 10 percent of spectrum is still to be allocated, the bidding wars are expected continue for next few days.

Day 13 Update [March 18th] – Rs.1,08,000 Cr Total Bids

Day 13 of Spectrum auction saw marginal hike of 1000 crore taking total bid amount to Rs. 1,08,000 crore. Six rounds of bidding were completed taking total rounds to 80 as of day 13. Four Telecom players Bharti Airtel, Ideal Cellular, Reliance Jio and Vodafone were most active and stayed focused on 800MHz (CDMA) airwaves, that can support 4G services at later date.

Interestingly, only 800 MHz saw excess demand in Delhi and Maharashtra circle, while 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz did not see any. 89% of the spectrum on offer was sold on a provisional basis to telecom carriers

Day 12 Update [March 17th] – Rs.1,07,000 Cr Total Bids

After a lull of about 4 days, the bid amount has now risen to Rs. 1,07,000 crore, a record windfall gains which has now surpassed (in value terms) what Government had made during 2010. When auction was conducted in 2010, Govt had mopped up Rs. 67,719 crore from 3G and Rs.38, 543 from BWA auction, taking the total tally during that auction to Rs.1,06,262 crore. The 2015 auction has now surpassed that amount.

On Day 12, 7 rounds were completed taking total bid rounds to 74. While 900 MHz band did not see any excess demand for 2nd day in a row, the bids in 800 MHz band are seeing lot of activity. 800MHz band now has excess demand in Assam, Delhi and Maharashtra circles. 2100MHz and 1800MHz also did not see any excess demand.

88% of spectrum has now been provisionally allocated to telecom service providers.

Day 11 Update [March 16th] – Rs.1,03,046 Cr Total Bids

The spectrum auction completed 6 rounds of bidding on Day 11, taking total rounds to 67. The day witnessed marginal rise from Rs. 1,02,215 crore to Rs. 1,03,046 crores. The provisionally allocated spectrum remains at 87 percent.

All bands witnessed activity, however 2100 MHz did not see any fresh demand in any of the 17 circles. On the other hand, 1800 MHz had excess demand for Himachal Pradesh and Kerala circle.

In 900 MHz band, which did not see any activity yesterday had excess demand for West Bengal circle. 800 MHz witnessed excess demand for 3 circles including Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and North East circles.

In last 4 days, the total bid amount has not moved much, and revenue collected has only marginally increased.

Here is how bids have progressed over past 11 Days.

Day 10 Update [March 15th] – Rs.1,02,215 Cr Total Bids

Day 10 witnessed marginal rise in the total bid amount, which has now crossed Rs. 1,02,215 crore. Although, the auction is witnessing good activity, the total bid amount has remained nearly stagnant over past 3 bidding days.

A total of 61 rounds have been completed and 87 percent of spectrum remains provisionally allocated. Also, 900 MHz band which has seen quite a lot of activity in initial days is now not seeing much action, as there was no excess demand for that band in any circle.

On the other hand, 800 MHz band is now seeing good action after a slow start – 3 circles (AP, MP and N.E) saw excess demand in 800MHz band. In 1800 MHZ 2 circles (Haryana and Himachal Pradesh saw excess demand)

Looking at the way auction is proceeding now, it does not look that bids may really go too high from here. We will keep you updated on how auction proceeds on daily basis.

Day 9 Update [March 13th] – Rs. 1,01,432 Crore Total Bids

The Day 9 if Telecom spectrum saw marginal dip in the total bid amount and stood at 1,01,432 crore. 6 rounds of bidding were completed on Day 9 taking total rounds of auction to 55 rounds. Quantum of all provisionally allocated 2G and 3G airwaves rose by 1 percent to 87 percent.

Bidding activity was witnessed in all four bands including 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz, however, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz continue to see highest level of activity. Four circles of 2100 MHz also saw price increments during the ninth day.

Day 8 Update [March 12th] – Rs. 1,02,200 Crore Total Bids

Finally, on the day 8, the total bid amount has crossed 1 Lakh crore, Rs. 1,02,200 crore to be precise. A total of 6 rounds of bids were completed on Day 8, taking total number of bidding rounds to 49.

86 percent of the spectrum now has been provisionally allocated to bidders – According to DoT officials, aggressive bidding is taking place across all bands, with activity requirement set at 100%.

Excess demand was seen in Haryana Circle for 1800 MHz band, and for Madhya Pradesh/North East circles in 800 MHz band. Till now, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz have seen the maximum activity.

Day 7 Update [March 11th] – Rs. 96,000 Crore Total Bids

Day 7 of Spectrum auction say the bid rise by nearly 4,000 crore to Rs. 96,000 Crore. 43 rounds of bids have been completed and bids have been made across  800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands.

Interestingly, 84 percent of the spectrum now has been provisionally allocated to bidders, so around 16 percent spectrum still remains unsold. However, over next couple of days, the remaining spectrum should also see the bids.

In 900 Mhz band, which has seen heavy bidding in initial days has excess demand in Assam, North-East and Rajasthan circles. 1800 MHz has seen excess demand in Kolkata and Harayana circle.

In all probability, bids should cross the 1 Lakh crore mark tomorrow (March 12th)

Day 6 Update [March 10th] – Rs. 92,200 Crore Total Bids

Well, no one expected this, but on Day 6th, the total bids for spectrum auction have actually fallen by 1,800 crore. Looks like the telecom operators have shifted from highly sought after 900 MHz band to others, as it seems to be becoming too expensive.

There was activity in two new service areas in 1800 MHz band. There is a shift in activity from 2100 MHz  and 900 MHz bands to 1800 MHz and 800 MHz bands.

At present, over 83% of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders at a value of approximately Rs. 92,200 crores. Majority of service areas are going at a premium over reserve price. There is still spectrum available, which is yet to be sold.

Day 5 Update [March 9th] – Rs. 94,000 Crore Total Bids

The 1 Lakh Crore mark is now nearing – After a day off on Sunday, the auction resumed on Monday on Day 5 and the bids rose by 8,000 crore to Rs. 94,000 Crore. A Telecom Department official said, “The bidding has taken place in all bands. At present, a value of approximately Rs 94,000 crore has been committed by bidders in respect of provisionally won spectrum. There is still spectrum, which is yet to be sold. Bidding would recommence tomorrow,”.

On Day 5, 7 rounds of bidding was done and with it a total of 31 rounds have been completed. 900 MHz band once again witnessed aggressive bidding, while other (800/1800/2100MHz) bands have not got much interest as of now!

Here is the chart of how bidding has progressed in 5 days of Spectrum Auction.

Day 4 Update [March 7th] – Rs. 86,000 Crore Total Bids

On Saturday, on the day 4 auction, the Government has already reached it’s target of mopping up Rs. 86,000 crore from Telecom auction. The way these bids are going, it is clear that total bids at the end of auction will surpass whopping Rs. 1 Lakh crore or even more!

As has been the case, the most aggressive bidding is being recorded in the 900 MHz band, where 24 rounds of bidding has been completed. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications are bidding for survival in this band as their licenses in various circles are due for renewal in 2015. Without these airwaves, they are in danger of going out of mobile data business!

The bids for 900 MHz has seen 85 per cent higher price against its reverse price while price of other three bands (800/1800/2100MHz) has only seen 2-6 percent rise at the end of the fourth day of auctions.

Day 3 Update [March 6th] – Rs. 77,000 Crore Total Bids

After a lackluster Day 2 of bidding, Day 3 saw some good action. The total spectrum bids on Day 3 have now surpassed Rs. 77,000 Crore, around Rs. 12,000 crore higher than previous day. Looking at the action today, it is clear that the center will surpass Rs. 86,000 crore target they have set for bid amounts.

7 rounds of bidding have been completed completed. Eight telecom companies are fighting to win spectrum in four bands — 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 2,100 MHz.

As the court case is pending in Supreme court, the results of who have won the spectrum is not been declared by Telecom Department. However, as we have pointed out earlier, Reliance Jio Infocomm seems to be front runner based on the earnest money deposit they have made.

Day 2 Update [March 5th] – Rs. 65,000 Crore Total Bids

The auction did not move much, but the total bid amount was higher than Rs. 5,000 crore as compared to Day 1st. The Government has managed to get Rs. 65,000 Crore which is higher than the reserve prices of Rs 49,000 crore, No bids for new circles were witnessed on Day 2

Day 1 Update [March 4th] – Rs. 60,000 Crore Total Bids

Hailed as India’s biggest and fiercest Telecom battle, auction for telecom spectrum for both 2G and 3G airwaves have started as on March 4th, 2015. Against the reserve price of Rs 49,000 crore, Government has already received commitment of Rs 60,000 crore from the qualified telecom companies who are part of this auction.

Telecom department said, “The bidding has taken place in all bands. At present, a value of approximately Rs 60, 000 crores has been committed by bidders against the value (at reserve price) of around Rs 49,000 crores of provisionally won spectrum.”

Auctioning of spectrum licenses started in 2010, and this is 5th such auction. Once the auction ends, Government is estimated to earn more than One Lakh Crore rupees from license fees. The biddings are permitted for the following spectrums:

  • 2G airwaves – 103.75 MHz in 800 MHz band, 177.8 MHz in 900 MHz band and 99.2 MHz in 1,800 MHz band
  • 3G airwaves – 5 MHz in the 2,100 MHz

The reserve price per Mhz which has been approved by the Government is (pan-India; 2G):

  • Rs. 3,646 crore for 800 MHz band
  • Rs. 3,980 crore for 900 MHz band
  • Rs. 2,191 crore for 1,800 MHz

For 3G spectrum, reserve price is Rs.3,705 crore per megahertz.

As per insider reports, bidding for 800 Mhz and 900 MHz for circles in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata are the most competitive. However, demand for 3G spectrum in 2100 MHz band is slow, which is expected to rise in the coming days.

Here is a report by the Department of Telecom on the bidding amounts for each spectrum band on Day 1.

Spectrum Auction1Spectrum Auction2

Hence, if the telecom companies only pay the base price, which is highly unlikely, then the Government will get Rs 82,000 crore as license fees. Telecom observers are betting that this figure will jump to Rs 1,00,000 to Rs 1,20,000 crore by the time auctions ends.

The following telecom companies are participating in the auctions:

Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Tata Teleservices, Uninor, Idea Cellular and Aircel.

These companies have collectively pooled in Rs 20,435 crore earnest money before the start of the auction, which is surprisingly 2.5 times of what was asked for.

Here are the details of the earnest money deposits by various telecom operators.

This current auction of spectrum license is considered as one of the most aggressive and competitive because in December, 2015, 29 licenses across 18 service areas would expire, as their 20 year old validity will be over. Among these, Idea Cellular and Reliance have 7 licenses; Airtel has 4 licenses; Vodafone has 6 licenses. And all of these telecom companies earn their 20-75% of overall revenues due to these licenses only, as the Internet usage has exponentially increased in the last 10 years. In case any of these companies fail to renew their licenses in any circle where their operations are running, they will have to shut down their shops, and incur huge losses.

The present auction is being managed and run by Kolkata based MJunction Services Ltd., which was selected by DoT last year. Besides them, Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation from Bangalore (Keonics) and C1 private limited, Noida were the other eligible companies for conducting the auction.

The results of this auction would only be declared after Supreme Court gives it nod, and the next hearing on this issue will be held on March 26th.

During the last auction which was held in February, 2014, Government received Rs 62,162 crore from different telecom companies.

More documents and results from this present auction, as shared by Department of Telecom can accessed here.

  1. […] have started as on March 4th, 2015. Against the reserve price of Rs 49,000 crore, Government already received commitment of Rs 60,000 crore from the qualified telecom companies who are part of this […]

  2. […] Indian telecom companies are sweating it out to purchase expensive spectrum bands in India, and betting thousands of crores of rupees to clinch maximum frequencies for maximum profits, battle line is being drawn against the concept […]

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