New Delhi: The country’s biggest-ever spectrum auction got off to a flying start on Saturday with the day one witnessing bids worth Rs.53,531 crore, after telecom companies showed interest in all frequency bands except the premium 700 Mhz and 900 Mhz bands.
The auction of airwaves on Saturday saw total bids worth around Rs.53,531 crore at the end of five rounds of bidding, official sources told PTI. The spectrum auction will resume on Monday.
In the five rounds conducted on Saturday, operators showed high level of interest in spectrum bands of 1800Mhz, that can be used for delivering 2G/4G services, followed by 2100Mhz (3G/4G) band, 2500 Mhz (4G) band, 2300 Mhz (4G) and 800 Mhz (2G/4G) bands.
According to data released by the Department of Telecom after the close of day-1 bidding round, most of the action was seen in 1800Mhz band—earlier known as 2G spectrum—with bidding in 19 of 22 telecom circles including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Gujarat and UP (East and West).
Companies including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio are in the race to arm themselves with spectrum to maintain competitive edge in providing quality and next generation mobile services to consumers.
The 2100 Mhz used for 3G services saw demand in 9 out of 22 telecom circles including Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar, and UP East.
The spectrum band of 2300Mhz and 2500Mhz which went under the hammer after six years also witnessed demand in various circles. The 800 Mhz band saw activity in circles of Gujarat, Punjab, UP (East) and Rajasthan.