Even as bids for pan-India Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum went up by 139 per cent from the reserve price on the third day, two bidders have left the field. Bidding price for pan-India BWA spectrum reached Rs 4,813 crore on Wednesday.
Of the 11 players in the field, seven including, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Tata Communications, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tikona Digital Networks, are existing telecom service providers. The rest — Augere Mauritius, Infotel Broadband Services, Internet Service Provider, Qualcomm — are not providing services.
Operators are bidding aggressively for BWA spectrum. “It took 12 days for third-generation (3G) spectrum auction to double its reserve price. However, BWA spectrum price doubled in just 3 days. We never expected this kind of aggressive bidding,” said an official of a company participating in the bidding.
Bids for Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka reached Rs 452 crore. The price for Kolkata and Punjab circles rose to Rs 136 crore, while that for Kerala touched Rs 107 crore.
“Roll out in BWA is going to be much easier and faster due to its reach. 3G is likely to be restricted to cities,” said R.S.P. Sinha, former CMD of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL).
The government is eyeing Rs 15,000 crore through the sale of two slots of BWA spectrum.
Towards a New Digital World
Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) is primarily used for high-speed data download services