Telecom spectrum auction ends with ₹77,815 crore bids; Jio top buyer with ₹57,122 crore


India’s first auction of telecom spectrum in five years ended on Tuesday with ₹77,814.80 crore of airwaves being bought, mostly by billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio.

Over 2,250 MHz of spectrum, that carry telecom signals, in seven bands worth nearly ₹4 lakh crore at the reserve or start price, was offered for bidding in the auction that began on Monday.

Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash said 855.60 MHz of spectrum was bought for ₹77,814.80 crore in the two-day auction.

Reliance Jio bought ₹57,122.65 crore worth of spectrum while Vodafone Idea Ltd picked ₹1,993.40 crore worth of airwaves.

Bids were received in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz bands but there were no takers for the airwaves in the premium 700 and 2500 MHz bands.

About one-third of the spectrum being auctioned is in the 700 MHz band, which was completely unsold during the 2016 auctions.

This, analysts said, was mostly because operators are unlikely to diversify into a new spectrum band that would require incremental investment in equipment, when other sub-GHz bands are available at lower prices.

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