At the end of Day 12, which saw 7 new rounds of bidding, the total bids increased to over Rs 1,07,000 crore from Rs 1,03,046 crore on Day 11. Revenues from the ongoing spectrum auctions has now surpassed the Rs 1,06,000 crore the government had generated during the first spectrum auctions in 2010, which was a record till now. After the first auction, the government has held three other auctions (excluding the current one), with the latest being in February 2014.
The Department of Telecom has informed that so far 88% of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders. So, we can expect total bids to increase further.
It seems the 800 MHz band is the new 900 MHz band for the telcos during the 2015 spectrum auctions, with continuous robust bidding for 800 MHz spectrum over the past few days. On Day 12 (pdf), there was excess demand for spectrum in the Assam, Delhi and Maharashtra telecom circles. The reserve price for these three circles have been increased by Rs 4.39 crore, Rs 9.88 crore and Rs 16.72 crore respectively for the next round. The Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and North East circles had witnessed excess demand for 800 MHz spectrum on Day 11.
Bidding in the three other bands has stabilized, with no excess demand in any of the circles. Usually, this is a sign that the auction is in its last leg. The spectrum auctions commenced on March 4, and during the first few days there was fervent activity in the 900 MHz band. This was expected as the mobile licenses for 9 telecom circles of Idea, 7 circles each of Vodafone and Reliance Communications and 6 circles of Airtel are up for renewal in 2015-16. All four telcos needed to buy spectrum in the 900 MHz band to continue uninterrupted operations.