At the end of Day 8, which saw 6 new rounds of bidding, the total bids for spectrum across the four bands up for auction has crossed Rs 1 lakh crore. Over 86% of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders at a value of approximately Rs 1,02,000 crore, up from Rs 96,000 crore at the end of Day 7.
The Department of Telecom mentioned that aggressive bidding is taking place across all bands, with activity requirement set at 100%.
It’s worth noting that as the spectrum auctions have progressed, demand for spectrum in the 2100 MHz band has steadily increased. While on Day 7 there were bids for 2100 MHz spectrum in Assam and Rajasthan circles, on Day 8 (pdf) bids came in for North East and Uttar Pradesh (West) circles as well. In all four circles reserve prices have been increase to Rs 1.89 crore, Rs 6.85 crore, Rs 0.53 crore and Rs 5.20 crore respectively for the next round of bidding.
Just like Day 7, there was excess demand for spectrum in the 1800 MHz band in Haryana and Kolkata circles, on Day 8 as well. Reserve prices in the two circles have been increased by Rs 0.29 crore and Rs 0.85 crore respectively for the next round.
The demand for spectrum in the 900 MHz band seems to have plateaued now, with Day 8 witnessing no excess demand for spectrum in any of the 17 circles. While there wasn’t any excess spectrum demand in the North East and West Bengal circles, there wasn’t deficient demand either and so the reserve price for these two circles have been increase by Rs 0.10 crore and Rs 0.33 crore for the next round.
Bidding in the 800 MHz band once again picked up on Day 8, after a slow previous day. On Day 8, there was excess demand for spectrum in the 800 MHz band in Madhya Pradesh and North East circles.
During the run-up to the 2015 spectrum auctions there was a lot of chatter about telecom operators not being happy about the high reserve price set by the government, and 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. However, with total bids crossing Rs 1,00,000 crore and veering quite close to the Rs 1,06,000 crore raised during 2010’s auctions.
Note that winning bidders need to make an upfront payment of 33% for spectrum in the 1800 MHz band and 25% for spectrum in the 900 MHz and 800 MHz, within 10 days of the results being declared.