The government is set to become richer by Rs 38,617 crore by selling broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum auction for which concluded on Friday, taking the total collections from the sale of airwaves to offer high-speed, high-volume data services to Rs. 106,336 crore.
The Centre, which fetched Rs 67,718.95 crore last month by selling 3G (third generation telephony) spectrum, now has a confirmed bonanza that could ease up its fiscal burden.
Notably, before beginning of the auction the government had budgeted to earn only Rs 35,000 crore through sale of both 3G and BWA spectrum. BWA uses different technologies to offer services similar to 3G.
The government auctioned two clots of BWA spectrum. The government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephoen Nigam Ltd (MTNL) jointly have one slot of spectrum. They will have to match the winning bid in each service area.
Anant Nahata-controlled Infotel Broadband, which was acquired by RIL in an announcement made separately emerged the only pan-India winner. It will pay Rs 12,872.52 crore.
US’s Qualcomm, which has developed LTE technology, bagged four circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala and Haryana. It would pay Rs 4,912.54 crore.
Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom service provider, bagged four circles — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kolkata and Punjab — for Rs 3,314.36 crore.
Aircel bagged eight circles, mostly in category B and C areas for Rs 3,438.01 crore.
Tikona, owned by former R Com president Prakash Bajpai, has won spectrum in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.
Augere, owned by former CEO of Orange Sanjeev Ahuja, won in only one circle.
The bidding pattern for BWA was similar to that of 3G spectrum. Mumbai and Delhi received the highest bid amounts of Rs 2,292.95 crore and Rs 2,241.02 crore, respectively.
There were 11 companies in the fray for BWA spectrum. They included Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Vodafone and Tata Communications Internet Services.