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Spectrum Auction concludes; Response better than expected

“The value of the spectrum for which there are winning bids is Rs 77,814.80 crore. Hence, incremental bids for Rs 668.20 crore were made today”, said Anshu Prakash, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, on second and concluding day of Spectrum Auction 2021. The auction began on 01.03.2021, concluded today at 12.45 PM, after a total of 6 rounds of bidding. The e-auction was based on Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending Auction (SMRA) methodology.

Anshu Prakash informed that bidding took place for spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz bands. The total quantity of spectrum for which right to use has been acquired in these bands is 855.60 MHz. The participants did not bid in 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands.Four rounds of bidding (two each with stipulated activity levels of 80 % and 90%) took place on 01.03.2021. Two rounds of bidding with stipulated activity level of 100% took place today.

Three bidders – Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Idea Ltd, and Reliance JioInfocommLtd – participated in the auction.

Bidder-wise details of quantity of spectrum acquired and amounts payable are as follows:

Bidder Total quantity (MHz) Total amount

(Rs crore)

Bharti Airtel Ltd 355.45 18,698.75
Vodafone Idea Ltd 11.80 1,993.40
Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd 488.35 57,122.65

A total quantity of 2308.80 MHz spectrum wasput to auction, including spectrum that is expiring up to December, 2021. Of this quantity, bids were received for855.60MHz of spectrum.Excluding spectrum in 700MHz and 2500MHz bands, this is about 60% of the spectrum put to auction. In the 2016 spectrum auction, where there were 7 bidders, the spectrum sold was 41% by quantity and 12% by value of the total spectrum put to auction. The corresponding figures in the 2021 spectrum auctionare 37% and 19% respectively, with 3 participants.

The quantity of spectrum put to auction and the spectrum acquired in different bands is as follows:

Band Quantity put to auction (MHz) Quantity acquired (MHz) Percentage
700 MHz (paired) 660 0 0
800 MHz (paired) 230 150 65.22
900 MHz (paired) 98.80 38.40 38.87
1800 MHz (paired) 355 152.20 42.87
2100 MHz (paired) 175 15 8.57
2300 MHz (paired) 560 500 89.29
2500 MHz (paired) 230 0 0
Total 2308.80 855.60 37.06

Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) for the spectrum acquired in this auction will be payable at the rate of 3% of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of the licensee, excluding revenue from wireline services.

The auction is concluded and these provisional results are subject to scrutiny and approval by the Government.

With the deployment of additional spectrum acquired in this auction in the networks of Telecom Service Providers, the Quality of Service and customer experience of telecom consumers across the country are expected to improve.

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