Day 11 of the 2015 spectrum auctions saw 6 new rounds of bidding, bringing the total to 67 rounds of bidding so far, and the government’s revenues increased to Rs 1,03,046 crore, up from Rs 1,02,215 on Day 10. The Ministry of Communications & IT informed that over 87% of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders thus far, and that most of the service areas or telecom circles have received provisional winning bids higher than the reserve price set by the government.
As has been the case over the past few days of the spectrum auctions, activity in the 800 MHz band continues to be high after a slow start. There was excess demand for spectrum in the Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and North East circles on Day 11 (pdf), similar to Day 10. The reserve price for these three circles have been increased by Rs 12.18 crore, Rs 9.54 crore and Rs 0.27 crore respectively for the next round of bidding.
In the 900 MHz band, there was excess demand for spectrum only in the West Bengal circle and the reserve price for the circle has been increased by Rs 0.81 crore for the next round. It’s worth noting that during the run-up to the 2015 spectrum auctions, analysts had predicted that bidding would be restricted to the 900 MHz as the mobile licenses for 9 telecom circles of Idea, 7 circles each of Vodafone and Reliance Communications and 6 circles of Airtel are up for renewal in 2015-16. These 29 licences up for renewal are for 18 telecom circles, including Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, UP (West), Gujarat, Odisha and Kerala, which are essentially must-win circles for these telcos.
Just like on Day 9 and Day 10, there was excess demand for 1800 MHz spectrum in the Himachal Pradesh circle on Day 11. However, unlike the two previous days there was no excess demand in the Haryana circle. The Kerala telecom circle saw bids for all 5 available blocks, and its reserve price has been increased by Rs 0.15 crore for the next round of bidding. While the reserve price for the Himachal Pradesh circle has been increased by Rs 0.08 crore for the next round.
The spectrum auctions commenced on March 4, with the government setting a target of raising Rs 82,000 crore. 103.75 MHz in the 800 MHz band, 177.8 MHz in the 900 MHz band, 99.2 MHz in the 1,800MHz band and five MHz in the 2100 MHz band across 17 of the 22 circles are up for grabs during the spectrum auctions.