Cost of a slot of 3G Spectrum in Mumbai, which was at Rs. 7.52 billion at the end of Day 11 of India’s 3G Auction, rose as much as 43.5 percent over the last 12 rounds, to close at Rs. 10.799 billion, marginally lower than spectrum cost for a slot of 3G spectrum in Delhi. The cost of a slot of spectrum in Delhi at the end of Day 13 was the highest, at Rs. 10.82 billion. At Rs. 79 billion, the cost of a pan-India spectrum is now 125.7 percent higher than the base price.
How lop sided is the auction at present levels? A slot of spectrum for the Maharashtra circle – the third most expensive at circle Rs. 7.69 billion – is as much as Rs. 3.11 billion lower than Mumbai. For a total of Rs. 3.10 billion, telecom operators could pick up a slot each of spectrum in West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, North East and Jammu and Kashmir.
Among category B circles, it’s interesting to note the continued rise of the cost of a slot of 3G spectrum in the populous UP (West), as counterpart UP(East) begins to lag. UP (West) increased by 12.5 percent over the last 12 rounds, while Kolkata finally came to the party, by registering a growth of 10.33 percent.
Some token bids did come in for Category C circles, and they moved up marginally, beyond the base price of Rs. 303 million. For all the talk, as things stand now, no one wants rural or Category C circle 3G spectrum; they don’t need spectrum for voice in those circles. The spectrum starved cities of Delhi and Mumbai are another story.
Do keep in mind that the real picture is likely to emerge gradually, as the activity levels are raised. The Indian government hasn’t disclosed the activity levels. Once the required activity levels hit 100 percent, expect a rapid rise in the bids, and a quick end to the auction.
Download the daily auction reports:24th April / 23rd April / 22nd April / 21st April / 20th April / 19th April / 17th April / 16th April/ 15th April / 13th April/ 12th April/ 10th April / 9th April 2010