India's auction of third-generation (3G) mobile airwaves finally ended on Wednesday, and the Government's bounty from the same has swelled to a whopping Rs700bn as against projection of Rs350bn from the combined 3G-BWA auction.
Meanwhile, bids for one set of pan-India 3G mobile licences reached Rs168.28bn on the 34th day of the auction compared to the base price of Rs35bn.
The 3G auction started on April 9. BWA bidding will start two days from now. The BWA auction is also expected to be equally competitive, as 11 players are in the fray for just two slots for each circle, while the reserve price for pan-India licence is Rs17.5bn.
Out of a total of 22 circles for the 3G spectrum, 17 have three slots, while in rest of the five circles, four blocks of spectrum are available.
The successful bidders would be allotted air waves in September after the spectrum is vacated by the defence forces.
Proceeds from the two auctions would help the Government bridge the fiscal deficit. India's fiscal deficit may come down to 5.2% of GDP from the estimated 5.5% of GDP. The Government has pegged the fiscal deficit at Rs3.81 lakh crores for FY11.
The names of the winners have not been announced yet.
Nine companies - Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Aircel, Etisalat, STel and Videocon Telecommunications - took part in the online auction.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL), who have already been issued 3G airwaves, will also have to pay the winner’s price.
The winning firms will have to deposit the money within 10 days from now.
As per the details given by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), three more Clock Rounds were completed on Wednesday. With this, the total number of Clock Rounds completed to date has come to 183.
The auction results are provisional and subject to approval by the Government, the DoT said.