Wireless spectrum auction kicks off; price soars 31%
The auction for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum was a big hit on day one of bidding, as the price for pan-India spectrum had touched Rs 2,300 crore at the time of writing this report. This is about 31 per cent higher than the reserve price of Rs 1,750 crore.
BWA is primarily used for high speed data access and offers speeds up to 80 Mbps. There are 11 companies in the field, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Communications and Reliance Communications (RCOM).
In comparison, the price of pan-India third generation (3G) spectrum went up by only 12 per cent to Rs 3,930 crore on the first day of bidding.
Bidding for two slots of BWA started at 9 am and will remain open till 7.30 pm everyday till the process is complete.
“Rollout in BWA is going to be much easier and faster due to its reach. 3G is likely to be restricted to the cities,” said RSP Sinha, former CMD of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.
“There are only two slots available and 11 bidders are in the field, so the competition has to be tougher,” said Ashish Basil, partner, Ernst & Young.
The government is expecting Rs 15,000 crore through sale of 2 slots of BWA spectrum. The 3G auction, which concluded recently, has fetched Rs 67,719 crore for the government.