New Delhi, Feb 13 IANS | 10 months ago

The second generation (2G) spectrum auction in 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz airwaves ended Thursday after mopping up Rs.61,162.22 crore in 68 rounds, Telecom Secretary M.F. Farooqui said here.

The government has garnered Rs.37,572.62 crore in 1,800 MHz and Rs.23,589.62 crore in 900 MHz.

"The auction has progressed smoothly. I think market has determined price through keen competitive bidding," he told reporters.

Eight mobile phone service providers took part in the auction that began Feb 3 for 46 MHz in 900 MHz band and 385 MHz in 1,800 MHz band.

Farooqui said 80 percent of the airwaves that was on auction in 1800 MHz was sold out and in 900 MHz entire airwaves that was offered got sold out.

"The government will get minimum of Rs.18,296.36 crore from this auction this fiscal," he said. The government has set a target of Rs.11,343 crore from the auction.

The total spectrum on offer is 46 MHz in 900 MHz band (only Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata) and 385 MHz in 1,800 MHz band (all 22 circles) simultaneously. The government has targeted to mop up Rs.40,874.50 crore from the spectrum auction in 2013-14.

Communications Minister Kapil Sibal said: "I want to see a smile on the face of finance minister and also of the consumers and that can be only seen if the service provided by the operators is efficient and is at reasonable prices."

Now that the auction is complete the real work for the industry will begin, he noted. "The sector has enormous potential. These licences are for a period of 20 years. These bandwidth will be given to operators till 2034."

"In a 20-year scenario this sector will again be the golden goose that laid the golden egg. This sector has enormous potential. We have not yet started looking at the 3G revolution and the data revolution that is going to come up. They are going to be very, very innovative unique base."

The service providers who took part in the auction are Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Telewings, Aircel, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular.

The Department of Telecom is working on the name of the final winner, Farooqui said.

(Posted on 13-02-2014)

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