India 3G bids top $900m

Nicole McCormick
12 Apr 2010

Day two of India’s 3G auctions has ended with bids surpassing more than $900 million, according to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

Bids closed at 40.85 billion rupees ($925m) on Saturday after 10 rounds, which is a 17% premium on the reserve price of 35 billion rupee set for pan-Indian spectrum in 22 circles.

Four bidders are competing for three spectrum lots in Delhi.

The metro received the highest bid amount of 3.92 billion rupees followed by Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, which all ended on bid amounts 3.81 billion rupees on Saturday.

The reserve price for Delhi service was 3.2 billion rupees India’s biggest cellcos - Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar, Tata Teleservices, Idea Cellular and Aircel – are aiming for a pan-Indian 3G footprint.

Smaller GSM1800 players - Videocon, S Tel and Etisalat – are seeking 3G spectrum in selective circles only.

Pyramid Research has estimated nationwide spectrum could cost a winning bidder up to $2.3 billion.

The 3G auction started on Friday, and is expected to heat up as bidding continues over the next eight to 12 days.

No bids have yet been received for Orissa, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir circles.

Only one bid has been lodged for the Himachal Pradesh, North East, Haryana and Punjab circles.

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