Bids moved up by around 15.23 billion over the previous two days of f India’s 3G Auction: price moved up by 7.4B (6.54%) during day 24 and Rs. 7.82B (6.48%) during day 25, to close at Rs. 128.51 B, 267% over the base price of Rs. 35 B set for pan-India spectrum. A total of 143 rounds have been completed since 9th April, and minimum activity requirement was raised to 100 percent after round 132.

This is now a game of blink, and price will increase until, one-by-one, telecom operators decide to drop out. The way the auction is structured, it greatly benefits the seller, and the buyers are virtually playing blind: they know what the prices are, but don’t know who is bidding, how. A friend of mine calls these auctions “Raja-proof”, particularly given the recent reports on the 2G spectrum auctions:

3G Auction Status

– Excess Demand: Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka, Punjab, Bihar, Orissa, Assam
– On-par Demand: Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, UP (East), UP (West)
– Deficient Demand: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, North East, J&K.

When bidding resumes, price for circles with excess and on-par demand will be raised, while price for circles with deficient demand might be reduced.

3G Auction Price

— Price for Delhi increased 8.3% on day 24, 6.1% on day 25, while Mumbai increased by 7.1% and 8.7% respectively
— Bids are more evenly spread now: Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra and Karnataka now account for 54% of the total price, compared to 60.41% at the end of Day 23.
— Delhi & Mumbai still account for 35.2% of total bids

— Kolkata &UP (West) have shown a sudden spurt in demand – both up by around 5.1% on day 24 and 6.1% of day 25.
— Price for Jammu & Kashmir registered an increase for the first time, albeit marginally form Rs. 0.3 B to 0.303 B

— Surprisingly, Himachal Pradesh is the lowest price circle at present, with its price the same as on Day 1. Even Jammu & Kashmir is priced higher. What gives?
— Maximum bids came in for Bihar: at least 7 telecom operators are still bidding

Download all the 3G Auction documents here