Today the auction process completed 6 rounds bringing the total up to 55 rounds. The total bid amount dipped from Rs. 1,02,057 Crore yesterday to Rs. 1,01,432 Crore today. The total quantum of spectrum provisionally allocated increased to 87%. Bidding activity was observed in all 4 bands. By the end of round 55 there was no surplus demand for 2100MHz in any circle. In 1800MHz band there was excess demand in Haryana circle. In 900MHz band there was no surplus demand but demand equalled availability in West Bengal circle which is why there will be a marginal increase in the block price in round 56. In 800MHz band there was surplus demand in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, North East and Madhya Pradesh circles.
As bidding still continues aggressively in all 4 bands, industry sources have reported that incumbents believe Reliance Jio is purposely bidding aggressively in 900MHz band to drive up the winning bid amount since it knows that the incumbents will go to any length to win back their expiring spectrum to protect their investments in infrastructure and also retain customers in circles where license is expiring. By making the incumbents bid heavily on 900MHz Rjio is reducing the available resources that they possess thus restricting competition in the 2100MHz which it eyes to buy. Airtel may look to acquire 900MHz spectrum in all circles for launching its dual carrier aggregation platinum 3G network.
The auction process will continue tomorrow with round 56. Keep reading TT for the latest updates on the auction process.