Seven Indian operators, including disruptive newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm, have pre-qualified to participate in India's major spectrum auction.
Jio, Idea, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Aircel, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications have all submitted deposits worth a combined 146.5 billion rupees ($2.19 billion). Jio alone submitted a 65 billion rupees deposit.
The Indian government is planning to conduct an auction of over 2,300MHz of spectrum in the 700-MHz, 800-MHz, 900-MHz, 1800-MHz, 2100-MHz and 2500-MHz bands.
An announcement from India's Department of Telecom indicates that Jio, idea, Vodafone and Airtel have paid for the right to bid in any spectrum band in each of India's 22 telecom circles.
Aircel will be entitled to bid for 900-MHz and 1800-MHz spectrum in any circle, but will not be able to bid for spectrum in the 700-MHz, 800-MHz and 2500-MHz bands, and will only be able to bid for 2100-MHz spectrum in 13 spectrum bands and for 2300-MHz spectrum in one.
Tata Teleservices will be able to bid for spectrum in all bands in Mumbai and Maharashtra but will be restricted from bidding for certain spectrum in other circles. Reliance Communications will be able to bid for spectrum in all bands across all circles except for two.
Bidding will commence on September 29. The government expects to be able to raise up to $83 billion from the auction, whereas analysts have placed a more conservative cap of $14.8 billion.