Hyderabad: Mukesh Ambani­-led Reliance Jio walked away with the highest share in India's first spectrum auctions in five years winning bids worth Rs 57,122 crore.

The spectrum bid ended on Tuesday with the government selling Rs 77,815 crore worth of airwaves.

The expensive 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands did not attract any buyers

Bharti Airtel bought spectrum worth Rs 18,698.75 crore, while Vodafone-Idea bought Rs 1,993.40 crore worth spectrum.

In the 2016 auction, there were 7 bidders. The spectrum sold was 41% by the quantity and 12% by the value of the total spectrum put to auction. The corresponding figures in the 2021 spectrum auction are 37% and 19% respectively, with 3 participants. Three bidders – Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Idea Ltd, and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd – participated in the auction.

The amount exceeded the expectations of the government as well as analysts as telcos focused on renewing expiring spectrum and consolidating holdings in select bands.

The auction began on March 1 and concluded on Tuesday after six rounds of bidding. The e-auction was based on the Simultaneous Multiple Round Ascending Auction (SMRA) methodology.

Anshu Prakash, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications 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 for 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 the stipulated activity level of 100% took place today.

"Our estimate itself was Rs 45,000- Rs ­50,000 crore. We have got bids worth Rs 77,814.80 crore, which is much higher than our expectations," said Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash.

A total of 2308.80 MHz spectrum was put to auction including the one which is expiring in December 2021. Of this quantity, bids were received for 855.60MHz of the spectrum. Excluding 700MHz and 2500MHz bands, about 60% of the spectrum was put to auction.


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