In the recent 4G spectrum auction which concluded on March 2, 2021, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has fetched a total amount of Rs 778.14 billion after six rounds of bidding.
While, bids were received in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz bands, there were no takers for the airwaves in the premium 700 and 2500 MHz bands. A total of 2308.80 MHz spectrum was put to auction, out of which the total quantity of spectrum for which right to use has been acquired in these bands was 855.60 MHz. Excluding spectrum in 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands, this is about 60 per cent of the spectrum put to auction.
According to the DoT, the spectrum usage charges (SUC) for the spectrum acquired will be payable at the rate of 3 per cent of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of the licensee, excluding revenue from wireline services.
On the operators’ front, Reliance Jio emerged as the biggest buyer, acquiring 488.35 MHz 4G spectrum, for Rs 571.22 billion.
Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel acquired 355.45 MHz spectrum across sub GHz, mid band and 2300 MHz bands for Rs 186.99 billion. The company bought spectrum 48.85 MHz of the sub-GHz bands in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands for Rs 94.57 billion, 86.6 MHz of mid-band spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands for Rs 61.72 billion and 220 MHz of capacity spectrum in the 2300 MHz band for Rs 30.70 billion.
Further, Vodafone Idea (Vi) acquired 11.8 MHz spectrum worth Rs 19.93 billion in five circles. “Vodafone Idea entered the auction holding the largest quantum of spectrum with a very small fraction, which was administratively allocated and used for GSM services, coming up for renewal,” Vi added.