Govt earns over Rs 1 trillion from 3G, BWA auctions

NEW DELHI: The Government earned Rs 1062.6226 billion from the recent auctions of 3G and Band Width Access (BWA).

The revenue is more than three times the target of Rs. 350 billion fixed by the Finance Ministry in its budget documents and more than five times the reserve price.
The realisation for 40 MHz of 3G spectrum was Rs 677.19 billion which is 4.75 times the reserve price of Rs. 35 billion and Rs. 167.51 billion per MHz pan India.

The realisation for 60 MHz of BWA spectrum was Rs. 385.4331 billion which is 7.34 times the reserve price of Rs. 17.5 billion and Rs. 6.4239 billion per MHz pan India.

The auctions were conducted by Department of Telecom and the auctioneer consortium of NM Rothschild India and DotEcon of UK. 
Department of Telecommunications Secretary P J Thomas said that according to the memorandum of understanding with the Defence Ministry, more spectrum would be available on 31 November 2012.

Thomas said in answer to a question that the experience was being documented in a report so that it could be replicated in other departments of the government.

He also denied media reports that five bidders had opted out of the BWA auction as they had bid for some rounds but were unable to go on as the bids kept increasing.

The winning bidders range from operators who have won 13 service areas to those that have won only three service areas in the 3G auction. In the BWA auction, a bidder, Infotel (backed by Reliance Industries), won all service areas while another bidder has won only a single service area.

No unsold lots were left through the Provisional Winning Bidder mechanism, thus ensuring greater competition through award of more spectrum.

The 3G auction was held over 34 days from 9 April to 10 May on all days except Sundays and national holidays. The winning firms had to deposit the money by the end of May, and will be allowed to offer 3G services on a commercial basis from 1 September.

The e-Auction for allocation of BWA Spectrum began on 24 May and closed on 11 June after 16 days and 117 rounds of bidding. All the winning bidders including MTNL and BSNL were required to pay the amount by 22 June.

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