Four telecom operators Airtel, Vodafone, Aircel and Uninor have submitted their applications for participating in the spectrum auctions charted to begin on 4th March 2015. So far, state owned BSNL, MTNL and Russian operator SSTL have decided to not participate in the upcoming auctions. MTNL and BSNL cited the lack of urgency in buying spectrum while SSTL cited the high base price as the reason for, not participating. Most of the spectrum being put up for sale in the upcoming auction belongs to Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Reliance communications in the 900MHz band and it is crucial that they win it back to continue smooth operations in their respective circles.
MTS the only pure play CDMA operator has shown concern regarding DOT’s decision to keep high reserve price for 800MHz spectrum despite the lack of participation from any operator in this band in the previous auction. DOT believes that since this spectrum can be used for FD-LTE deployment and has excellent coverage it justifies its high base price. Reliance communications had in an earlier statement confirmed that they will be looking to participating in at least the 7 circles where their license is coming up for renewal. We may see more applications from other operators like Idea cellular or Reliance Jio later in the day. Today is the last day for submitting applications for the auction.
The government intends to auction a total of 380.75MHz of spectrum in the three bands – the premium 900MHz band, 1800MHz, and 800MHz, besides 5MHz in the 2100MHz band across 17 out of 22 telecom areas. The government plans to raise over Rs. 80,000 crore from the sale of radio waves for providing 2G, as well as 3G services. This money will be used to reduce the fiscal deficit.