India’s radio spectrum auction has concluded, raising far less for the government than it had hoped for.
The auction raised just under USD9.9 billion, around 3�0% less than had been expected. Much of the blame was put down to the high reserve price applied to blocks of 700Mhz spectrum which put off bidders.
Some 2,200 MHz of spectrum was offered, covering most of the main spectrum bands used by mobile networks.
“No demand for 700 MHz is largely in line with our assumptions as pricing for the 700 MHz band has always a deterrent,” analysts at HSBC Global Research said in a note to clients Thursday. “We believe no take up in 700 MHz band will see the regulator cut prices there by about 15-20%.”
Vodafone was the highest bidder, spending RS20,000 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel with Rs14,244 crore, Reliance Jio with Rs13,672 crore and Idea Cellular with Rs12,798 crore.
“The new spectrum significantly enhances the coverage, capacity and speed of Vodafone India’s 4G data services in its key [telecom] circles, complementing existing high-quality 2G and 3G voice and data capabilities,” Vodafone India said in a statement.
The auction lasted five days in total.