Total bids for spectrum during the ongoing auctions has once again decreased to over Rs 1,05,000 crore on Day 17, from over Rs 1,07,000 crore on Day 16. The Department of Telecom informed that there was robust bidding in the 900 MHz and 800 MHz bands, and about 88% of the spectrum has been provisionally allocated to bidders so far. There were 7 new rounds of bidding on Day 17 (pdf).
There was no excess demand for spectrum in the 800 MHz band in any of the telecom circles, however, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (East) circles witnessed bids for all available slots. The reserve price for these two circles has been increased by Rs 1.07 crore and Rs 1.67 crore respectively for the next round of bidding. There had been excess demand for spectrum in the 800 MHz band in North East circle, on Day 16.
In the 900 MHz band, there was excess demand for spectrum in the Uttar Pradesh (East) circle. The reserve price for the circle has been increased by Rs 6.32 crore for the next round. Interestingly, the last three days of the 2015 spectrum auctions (Day 15, 16 and now 17) has seen a resurgence in bids in the 900 MHz band. On Day 15, there was excess demand for spectrum in the Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (East) and Uttar Pradesh (West) circles, while on Day 16 there was excess demand in Rajasthan circle.
Bidding in the 1800 MHz band was stable, with no excess demand in any of the circles, while the 2100 MHz band remained inactive.
It’s worth noting that with the spectrum auctions moving to Day 18, the government is unlikely to receive all of the upfront payments in the current fiscal year. Telcos are required to pay 25% of the winning bid in case of the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands and 33% of the winning bid in case of 2100 MHz and 1800 MHz bands as upfront payment within 10 days of close of bidding, and now that date has moved beyond March 31, 2015.
2015 Spectrum Auction coverage: