India’s biggest spectrum auction is all set to take place on September 29. According to the latest report, Government is looking to raise about Rs 5.63 lakh crores from this auction of mobile airwaves.
“The amount of spectrum to be auctioned is more than any of the previous auctions and we believe that it will give an opportunity to bidders to acquire chunks of spectrum that will enable them to provide good quality service as per international benchmarks,” JS Deepak, secretary, Department of Telecom (DoT), quoted as saying by The Hindu.
This time around, India Government is set to auction about 2,354.55 MHz in 126 offerings of mobile airwaves frequencies including bands of 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2500MHz all of which can provide 4G services.
The 700MHz band, the airwaves in which are considered the most premium, will also be up for auction. Reason behind this can be attributed to the cost of services under this band being significantly low than others.
Also this is the first time that Government has promised that it will give spectrum within 30 days of up-font payment by the winning bidders. Also the bidders of 700MHz, 800MHz and 900 MHz bands will have to pay at least 25% of total bid amount within 10 days and rest in 10 annual installments. This payment is 50% for other remaining bands.
“We see relatively good demand for 1800MHz band, some demand for 2100 and 2300MHz band. Limited demand for 700, 800 and 900MHz bands. I will be surprised if there are any takers for 2500MHz band,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said.
But there are reports saying that this year’s auction might not see the famous domestic telecom operators after inter-company spectrum trade this year. On the other hand, the 700Hz band alone has the potential to raise about 4 lakh crore if all the spectrum in that band is sold. It is unlikely that this will happen considering the premium price of the band
In 2015, major auction players were Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular Ltd, Reliance Jio. While government is acting optimistic about this year’s auction, we will have to wait and see the exact participation percentage.