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Spectrum auctions: Jio top buyer as govt receives bids worth Rs 77,815 crore

Reliance Jio acquired 488.35 MHz of spectrum for Rs 57,122.65 crore

RELIANCE JIO/CYBER Representational Image

The government received Rs 77,814.80 crore after India’s first auction of the 4G telecom spectrum in five years ended on Tuesday with Reliance Jio emerging as the top bidder, buying spectrum worth Rs 57,122.65 crore.

Jio bagged 488.35 MHz of spectrum in bands such as 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz.

Bharti Airtel acquired 355.45 MHz at Rs 18,698.75 crore while Vodafone Idea picked up 11.80 MHz for Rs 1,993.40 crore. There were only three bidders—Airtel, Vi, and Reliance Jio—this year, as opposed to seven during the last spectrum auction in 2016.

In the two-day event, bids worth Rs 668.20 crore were made on the second day of the auction, which saw bids worth Rs 77,146 crore on the first day.

About 2,308.80 MHz of spectrum, which carry telecom signals in seven bands worth nearly Rs 4 lakh crore at the reserve price, was up for bidding in the auction. However, the government received bids for 855.60 MHz.

The 2300 MHz band turned out to be the most sought after with 89.29 percent spectrum being sold. Of 560 MHz spectrum put for auction under the 2300 MHz band, 500 MHz found takers, the Ministry of Communications said in a statement.

However, airwaves in the premium 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands went unsold.

The Telecom Department said it is satisfied with the outcome as the numbers had exceeded internal estimates despite the pandemic and stress in the telecom industry.

Of the total proceeds, the government would get Rs 19,000-Rs 20,000 crore in the current financial year and Rs 6,000-Rs 7,000 crore would accrue in the next fiscal as the auction offers bidders the option of upfront and deferred payment (in annual instalments).

(With PTI inputs)

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