NEW DELHI: Seven telecom operators including top carriers Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, along with new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm, will participate in India’s biggest spectrum auction scheduled to begin October 1.
Reliance Communications, Aircel and Tata Teleservices also submitted their applications and earnest money deposit, which represents their intent to bid. Norwegian telecom operator Telenor was the only notable absentee, government officials said on Wednesday, which was the last day for submitting applications. The government is auctioning 2,354.55 MHz of spectrum — the most ever — across seven bands, including 700 MHz band, which is being offered for the first time.
At the reserve price, the airwaves are valued at over Rs 5.6 lakh crore, of which Rs 4 lakh crore is expected from the 700 MHz bandwidth, considered the best for 4G services. However, experts said the auction may fetch a lower amount, with estimates of proceeds ranging from Rs 70,000 crore to Rs 150,000 crore — given that companies are not renewing their spectrum holdings this time and the high price of the 700 MHz band.