After 16 rounds of bidding over three full days, total bids for 3G in India edged up to Rs. 43.29 billion. When the next set of rounds begins today, the provisional bid price for a pan India spectrum will be Rs. 44.04 billion, with Gujarat priced the highest, at Rs. 4.37 billion, having been raised by Rs. 208 million by the auctioneers. As mentioned earlier, the bidders have no control over the pricing, but the demand for Gujarat has been high over the last two days that the auction has been held.
Uttar Pradesh (East) was another surprise gainer, with the provisional price for April 13th being fixed at Rs. 1.73 billion, Rs. 157 million (10 percent) higher than its April 12th closing. Among Category A circles, demand for Mumbai is rather low at Rs. 3.92 billion.
Demand for smaller, Class C circles like Bihar, Orissa, Assam, North East and J&K remains inordinately low, with Bihar at Rs. 318 million, and the rest at Rs. 303 million. The total number of bids for spectrum in these circles did not cover the number of available slots: hence the negative points in the report.
The status of the auction as of August 12th, 2010:
Delhi, Gujarat: Rs. 4.16 billion
Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu: Rs. 4.04 billion
Karnataka: Rs. 3.96 billion
Mumbai: Rs. 3.92 billion
Rajasthan: Rs. 1.59 billion
UP (East): Rs. 1.57 billion
Kolkata, UP(West): Rs. 1.51 billion
Kerala: Rs. 1.5 billion
Madhya Pradesh: 1.49 billion
Haryana: Rs. 1.41 billion
Punjab, West Bengal: Rs. 1.24 billion
Bihar: Rs. 0.318 billion
Orissa, Himachal, Assam, North East, J&K: Rs. 0.303 billion
Do keep in mind that as the auction continues, the bidders will have to increase their bidding spread across circles in order to keep their Activity Points above the minimum requirement. The auctioneers will continue to increase activity points requirements, in order to sell spectrum in the maximum number of circles: as an industry analyst told me yesterday, we’ll see the aggressive bids when the activity points requirement is 100 percent.
In other developments, people are taking bets about when this auction will end. My guess: early next week. What do you think?