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2016 Spectrum Auction ends: Rs 65,789 Cr in bids, only 40% of spectrum sold


The 2016 spectrum auctions concluded today after 31 rounds of bidding. Total value of bids at end of Day 5 stood at Rs 65,789 crore, which had 8 new rounds of bidding. The government was initially targeting Rs 56,00,000 crore based on the reserve prices set by the TRAI in late January.

More than 965 MHz of spectrum was allocated provisionally after 31 rounds of bidding that ended today. This means only 40% of the spectrum put up for auctions have been sold after 5 days of auctions. A total of 2,354.55 megahertz of spectrum across 7 different bands were put up for auctions this year.

The premium 700 MHz and 900 MHz spectrum saw no takers for a 5th day in a row, and most bids were placed in the 1800 MHz band followed by the 2300 MHz spectrum. The 800 MHz also saw no takers for the 5th day, although it received bids in the first 4 days.

Looking back at 2015 and 2014 auctions

Comparing this to last year’s auctions (2015), the government was able to sell 89% of the 418.05 MHz of spectrum put up for sale last year. The 2015 auctions concluded after 19 days and bids touched Rs 1.09 lakh crore which was 36% higher than the Rs 80,277 crore the government had targeted. In 2014 auctions, the government had raised Rs 61162.22 crore from the sale of 399.2 MHz of spectrum across two bands: 900 MHz and 1800 MHz

Recap of No of Bids, increase in prices, and most active circles

800 MHz

The band did not receive any bids on the 5th day. However, telcos have placed bids worth 15 MHz of the 800 MHz band across 4 circles after 31 rounds of bidding that ended on the 5th day. A quantum of 73.75 MHz of spectrum across 19 circles was available for auctioning under this band.

Rajasthan circle received the highest number of bids, and after 5 days of bidding, provisional wining price in this circle went up by 11% to Rs 289.98 cr. This was closely followed by Punjab circle, and prices in this circle went up by 14% to Rs 170.86 cr after 5 days of bidding. Gujarat circle’s provisional winning price went up by 17%.

1800 MHz

This band remained most active for the 5th day in a row. After 31 rounds of bidding, telcos have placed bids worth 132.8 MHz for the band. A quantum of 219.6 MHz of the 1800 MHz band is available for this year’s auctions across 21 circles.

After 5 days of auctions:
-Mumbai circle’s prices went up by 64% after 31 rounds of bidding to Rs 97.184 cr
-UP (East) and UP (West) saw an increment of 15% and 4% respectively.
-Haryana circle’s provisional winning price was 4% higher than its reserve price
-Kolkata’s provisional winning price was marginally high at Rs 30.23 Cr
-Provisional Prices in Rajasthan remained at a higher rate of Rs 18.38 Cr

2100 MHz

Telcos have placed bids worth 70 MHz of spectrum under the 2100 MHz band; a quantum of 360 MHz was available for sale. Out of the 22 circles, bids were places in 11 circles across. On the 5th day, Bihar, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and UP (East) circle witnessed the highest demand. No price rise was recorded under the band in any circle.

2300 MHz

This band received bids in 5 circles out of the 16 circles it was available in. This includes Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and West Bengal. Telcos have placed bids worth 50 MHz under this band; a quantum of 320 MHz was put up for auctions.

Spectrum in Gujarat circle had a 56% higher rate provisional wining rate of Rs 611.88 cr. Kerala had a 9% higher rate of Rs 175.67 cr, while provisional rate in Maharashtra circle was 8% higher at Rs 630.61 cr.

2500 MHz

Telcos have placed bids worth 100 MHz; the band has a quantum of 300 MHz put up for sale. Bids were placed in 13 circles, out of the 22 circles it is available in. Circles including Gujarat and Maharashtra saw the highest demand under the 2500 MHz band. Provisonal winning price in Kerala circle went up by a marginal Rs 8 lakh, taking the final price to Rs 160.8 Cr.

2016 Auctions coverage:

Auctions 2016 Day 1: Rs 53,531 Cr in bids; 700MHz & 900MHz unsold
Auctions 2016 Day 2: Rs 56,792 Cr in bids; 1800 MHz, 2300 MHz continues to see demand
Auctions 2016 Day 3: 62% of spectrum remains unsold
Auctions 2016 Day 4: Bids worth Rs 63,500 Cr placed after 23 rounds

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