Telecom companies in the country want to make the maximum of every opportunity they get and with the third round of spectrum auction opening up, every operator has put forth their bids for the same. The Government has received bids for all the 22 circles in the 1,800 MHz band and the three blocks of the 900 MHz band in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.
There were about 7 rounds of bidding per day and after the seven rounds of the day 1, the price for the Mumbai circle was Rs. 473.24 crore, with Delhi being Rs. 428.92 crore, and price for Kolkata was Rs. 173.16 crore which was well above the base price of Rs 360-crore per MHz for Delhi, Rs 328-crore for Mumbai and Rs 125-crore for Kolkata for the 900 MHz band. In the 1,800 MHz band, only Gujarat circle was the one attracting some attention.
Each round of bidding was for 60 minutes and there's a break of about 20 minutes between two rounds.
The 900 MHz spectrum is the most sought after one as some of the spectrum in it are held under licenses which are expiring in November 2014. Reliance Jio is trying to garner as big a share as possible of the 900 MHz band whereas veterans like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea will be trying to hang on to their existing circles.
For operators like Vodafone India, Airtel and Loop Mobile the licences will expire in November 2014, Airtel needs to get its spectrum in Delhi and Mumbai where as Vodafone India in Kolkata Mumbai and Delhi and for loop mobile in Mumbai to continue its operation before November 2014.
Other firms which are in the hunt are Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, Aircel and Telewig Communications. A higher bidding might end up burning a lot of money in the books of the telecom operators which may let giants like Vodafone and Airtel hang on but smaller operators may not be in a financial position to hang on to their expiring licenses.
So you might just see a rise in tariffs in the telecom arena because all the money the operators are going to spend in the auction, they surely will make it out of your pockets.
Whom do you think can be a game changer in this spectrum auction do let us know your views by comments.