Zero. That’s the number of excessive bids that came in for Category A and Metro circles, during round 52 of India’s 3G Auction, the last round for day 9 of the auction. At Rs. 63.54 billion, the India government is already set to earn 81.55 percent more than the base Rs. 35 billion base amount it had set for pan India spectrum. The bids increased by only 4.72 percent over the Rs. 60.68 billion price at the end of the previous day.

3G Auction India Day 9

Delhi topped the charts with bids of Rs. 7.33 billion, and will start at a provisional price of Rs. 7.41 billion on day 10. Mumbai was second at Rs 6.68 billion, Tamil Nadu at Rs. 6.43 billion, Maharashtra at Rs 6.25 billion, Karnataka Rs. 5.72 billion, Gujarat at Rs. 5.61 billion and Andhra Pradesh at Rs. 5.56 billion. Among Category B circles, Uttar Pradesh  (West) was highest at 2.52 billion, Uttar Pradesh (East) at Rs. 2.40 billion and Kerala at Rs. 2.25 billion.

Multiple circles – Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir saw no bids during the last round. Kolkata was the only circle that saw excessive demand, as demand for the rest was either on par with the 3 slots of spectrum available, or lower. With demand flagging, spectrum slots in 11 circles still remain unsold. When bidding resumes on Wednesday, bids for 11 of the 22 circles will see no increment. Note that the bidders can’t control the bid price.

However, while interest appears to be flagging, don’t expect the auction to end soon. CNBC-TV18 reports that the minimum activity level is still low, at 80 percent. In order to keep the bids coming, the auctioneer will now be forced to increase the minimum activity level, and companies will have to bid in order to remain eligible for a win. It’s only once that activity level is at 100 percent, will the real picture emerge. No telling how long this will take, though.

Download the daily auction reports: 20th April / 19th April17th April16th April15th April /  13th April12th April10th April9th April 2010