Airtel, Vodafone, Aircel, and Uninor apply for spectrum auction

Four telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Uninor and Aircel have submitted applications for participating in the upcoming spectrum auction, scheduled to start from March 4.


Four telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Uninor and Aircel have submitted applications for participating in the upcoming spectrum auction, scheduled to start from March 4.
Monday is the last day to submit the applications.

Most of the spectrum being put up for the auction is presently held by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Telecom. Their licences are set to expire in 2015-16.

It is mandatory for these companies to bid for spectrum if they have to continue offering mobile and other telecom services as their permit is expiring.

Participation of Uninor and Aircel has further enhanced the chances of aggressive bidding in the auction.

Other telecom players are also expected to file their applications later in the day, except Sistema Shyam Teleservices and state-owned firms BSNL and MTNL.

SSTL, which was seen as potential buyer for CDMA spectrum, has decided not to participate in the auction due to high base price and pending request of frequency rearrangement or reallocation that it won in March 2013 auction.

The government expects to garner over Rs. 80,000 crore from the sale of radiowaves for providing 2G as well as 3G services.

It has approved the minimum or auction start price for the 2000MHz band or 3G spectrum, which will garner at least Rs. 17,555 crore. The reserve price for auction of 2G spectrum in 800MHz, 900MHz, and 1800MHz bands will fetch the government Rs. 64,840 crore.

The government plans to sell 380.75MHz of spectrum in the three bands - the premium 900MHz band, 1800MHz, and 800MHz, besides 5MHz in the 2100MHz band across 17 out of 22 telecom areas.

The government had garnered about Rs. 62,162 crore from the last auction in February 2014.

Proceeds from this year's auction is expected to help the government reach its fiscal deficit target of 4.1 percent of GDP.

PTI