By the end of the first day, 37 per cent of the spectrum by quantity and 19 per cent by value was sold. Airwaves in the 800 Mhz and 2300 Mhz bands received the maximum response. Nearly 65 per cent of the 800 Mhz spectrum—conducive for 4G--and 89 per cent of the airwaves offered in the 2300 Mhz band were sold. Reliance Jio, which had paid the highest earnest money deposit of Rs 10,000 crore, was believed to be a top buyer in 800 MHz.
In case of 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz and 900 Mhz, the upfront amount to be paid is 25 per cent of the total price at which the bidding closes and in the other bands, the operators will have to submit half of the total amount as upfront payment.
Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash said whatever spectrum is left unsold in the current auctions will be put up for sale in the next bidding process after consultation with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). He hinted that the next auction--5G-- may happen in FY22.
Meanwhile, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said more spectrum in the hands of telcos
will lead to better services.
He added that the 5G spectrum auctions will happen in their due time and in the meantime the industry can work towards building the ecosystem for the same.
The industry has maintained that the reserve price, especially in some bands, is very steep compared to the US, UK, Australia and Japan among others.
On December 16, 2020, the Union government approved a 4G auction that is expected to fetch the exchequer Rs 3.92 trillion by offering 2251 megahertz of airwaves. The coveted 5G spectrum was kept out of the offer.
MSTC is conducting the airwave sale for the government. The same public sector enterprise had executed coal auctions in early 2015 after the Supreme Court had cancelled allocation of coal mines in September 2014.
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