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Spectrum auction: Rel Jio, Airtel, Idea give highest EMD; Aircel and Tata can’t bid for new waves

The department of telecommunications has published a list of applicants (pdf) that have pre-qualified for spectrum auctions which are to be held on March 5 for the 2,100 Mhz, 1,800 Mhz, 900 Mhz and 800 Mhz bands. Reliance Jio Infocomm emerged as the highest depositor of Earnest Money Deposit with Rs 4,500 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel ( Rs 4336 crore) and Idea Cellular (Rs 4,000 crore).

Here are the list of of applicants:

Spectrum auction

Note that Tata Teleservices and Aircel have been disqualified for bidding new spectrum as they have shown negative net worth of Rs 7,192.60 crore and Rs 6,668.61 crore respectively. Tata Teleservices which also operates Tata Docomo cannot bid in three service areas, namely Assam, the North East and Jammu and Kashmir. It also can’t bid in the remaining service areas where it does not have spectrum.

Aircel is disqualified in bidding in such bands where it does not have spectrum in that service area. The auction rules state that an operator bidding for new waves or service area should have a minimum net worth of Rs 100 crore, which both Tata Teleservices and Aircel do not have.

Interestingly Reliance Jio Infocomm, which has not even started operations, has a net worth of Rs 17,022 crore. This is due to the fact that the company owns a pan-India BWA licence worth Rs 13,000 crore. Reliance Industries Limited acquired Infotel Broadband Services within hours after winning the spectrum, had deposited an EMD of Rs 252.50 crore and bid for Rs 12,847.77 crore (5000 times of its net worth) for pan-India spectrum.

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