It seems the so claimed India’s biggest spectrum auction 2016, won’t be that big. With no takers for super premium 700 MHz band in any telecom circle. Only the 1800 MHz band saw relatively some decent bidding from Indian telecom operators.

If you have missed, the government have put a total of 2,354.55 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum across every band – 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHZ and 2500 MHz. Telecom operators winning the spectrum can use it for high-speed 4G LTE services. The bidding started on 1st October 2016 and

So how the first day of the spectrum auction 2016 go? Indian telecom operators completely avoided the super premium 700 MHz band, which had a reserve price of Rs 4 lakh crore.

Indian top telcos can bid for spectrum in any band in any telecom circle [Oct 2016 auction]

There was also no bid for the 900 MHz bands from any telcos. The total spectrum bid value at the end of day 1 stands at Rs 53,531 crore. The 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz bands saw the most bidding from telcos. It’s the first time since, 2010 the 2300 MHz band being up for sale and most of the telecom operator trying to grab a piece of it.

Day 1 report on Spectrum Auction 2016

  • Total five rounds of bidding conducted on day 1 (1st October 2016).
  • 700 MHz and 900 MHz bands seem to have got no bids.
  • 800 MHz band – bids lead to excess demand in Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh East telecom circles.
  • 1800 MHz band – the most bids happened for 1800 MHz band, with telcos bidding in 19 out of the 22 telecom circles. Spectrum demand in Mumbai and Maharashtra circles was three times higher than the total amount available. Do note that Tata Teleservices spectrum in Maharashtra telecom circle is up for renewal in 2017.
  • 2100 MHz band – the band primarily used for 3G service in India by the top telcos saw decent bidding, as they are looking to fill the coverage gap. Most bids in Bihar, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and UP East telecom circles.
  • 2300 MHz band – this band gives large coverage of 4G services. Top telcos Airtel, Vodafone and Jio are bidding aggressively for it. The bid being placed in Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh telecom circles.
  • 2500 MHz band – the band saw the limited demand, as telecom operators using it as a backup in case the price on 2300 MHz band goes way high. The bid was placed in Delhi, Gujarat, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh east and Uttar Pradesh west telecom circles.

Interesting the telecom secretary JS Deepak told PTI that next spectrum auction will not happen soon and telecom operator should ‘tank up’ radio waves.

After this auction, if there is an unsold spectrum, it means there is no demand for it… So we will harmonise spectrum purchased by operators in all bands including 1800 Mhz and 2100 Mhz so that we can make it contiguous and multiply its efficiency for operators. Only after harmonisation process is complete, will we think of the next auction,” he added.

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