BWA auction: Prices surge to Rs 128 billion

NEW DELHI: The Pan-India total at the Bandwidth Access (BWA) auction today rose to about Rs 127.75 billion, even as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India expressed concern that broadband penetration in India was just 0.74 per cent confined to the main cities though 70 per cent of Indian population lives in rural areas.

After 116 rounds on the 15th day, the bids for Mumbai and Delhi remained at the top with Rs 22.73 million and Rs 22.21 billion respectively.

Tamil Nadu closed at Rs 20.49 billion, while Karnataka was at Rs 15.43 billion, Andhra Pradesh at Rs 10.59 billion, and Gujarat at Rs 6.08 billion.
While Kerala was at Rs 2.59 million, West Uttar Pradesh was at Rs 1.78 billion, East Uttar Pradesh at Rs 1.41 billion, Madhya Pradesh at Rs 1.23 billion, and at Rs 1.19 billion.

Rajasthan closed at Rs 963.6 million, West Bengal clocked Rs 709.7 million, Assam Rs 327 million, the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir Rs 210.6 million each, and Himachal Pradesh Rs 206.6 million.
The bids for five service centres remained unchanged: the rest of Maharashtra at Rs 9.16 billion; Kolkata at Rs 5.23 billion; Punjab at Rs 3.32 billion; Bihar at Rs 983 million, and Orissa at Rs 630 million.

The rest of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kolkata, Punjab, West Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa are unlikely to see any increase with no applications for price increment for tomorrow’s rounds.

Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and North-East are expected to see minimal increase with bids of just over Rs two million each.

The telecom operators in the race are Aircel, Augere (Mauritius) Limited, Bharti Airtel, Infotel Broadband Services Private Limited, Qualcomm Incorporated, Reliance WiMax Limited, Spice Internet Service, Provider Private Limited, Tata Communications Internet Services Limited, Tikona Digital Networks Private Limited and Vodafone Essar Limited.

The successful bidders would be allowed to start commercial operations from 1 September.

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