India 3G: Bidding for Glory

After four days of bidding in India's 3G spectrum auction, the price of a pan-India license had reached 45.8 billion Indian Rupees (US$1.04 billion), nearly 31 percent above the base price of INR35 billion (US$792 million).

There are three pan-India licenses up for grabs in the auction, while state-owned operators Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) share a fourth. (See India Watch: The Road to 3G and Bids Flood In for India's Spectrum Auctions.)

Of the nine bidders for 3G spectrum, six -- Aircel Ltd. , Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL), Idea Cellular Ltd. , Reliance Communications Ltd. , Tata Teleservices Ltd. , and Vodafone India -- are hoping to win pan-India licenses.

By the time the 3G and following BWA (broadband wireless access) spectrum auctions are completed, the government hopes to have raised more than $10 billion. (See India 3G: And They're Off!)

Perhaps surprisingly, the bidding for the Gujarat circle (service area) spectrum has been the highest, at nearly INR4.6 billion ($104 million), exceeding even the bidding in the major metro circles. Five of the nine auction participants have placed bids for the Gujarat spectrum. (For more on India's circles, see A Guide to India's Telecom Market.)

Among the metro circles, Delhi, which has four bidders, was the highest at INR43.8 billion ($99 million), followed by Mumbai at nearly INR41.7 billion ($943 million).

For the full fourth round bid details, check out the public report on the Department of Telecommunications Website.

— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading

digits 12/5/2012 | 4:39:46 PM
re: India 3G: Bidding for Glory

The 3G bids are rolling along, but it's the BWA auction I'm waiting for - that's the big unknown and the auction that could, potentially, be the one with the toughest and longest battles.

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:39:43 PM
re: India 3G: Bidding for Glory

India's auction looks set to overshadow the auction that's going on in Germany right now. By comparison, the bids are quite low for the German spectrum so far.



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