Govt to get Rs 385 bn bonanza as BWA auction ends

NEW DELHI: With the government concluding the auction for bandwidth access (BWA) today, the total revenue to the exchequer is expected to be over Rs 385 billion.

The pan-India figure at the end of 117 rounds was at Rs 128.48 billion but this figure will double as the government has approved two contenders at each service centre. The base price for BWA had been fixed at Rs 17.5 billion.
The total revenue has been worked out at over Rs 385 billion as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, which have already been issued licences for BWA services, will also have to match the winner‘s price.
However, the Ministry said the auction results are provisional and subject to approval by the Government. Frequencies in MHz were also allocated to the successful bidders.

While Infotel Broadband Services Private Limited won a bid in all the 22 service centres, Aircel won the bid in eight centres; Tikona Digital Networks Private Limited in five centres; Bharti Airtel and Qualcomm Incorporated in four centres each; and Augere (Mauritius) Limited at one centre. 
Reliance WiMax Limited, Spice Internet Service Provider Private Limited, Tata Communications Internet Services Limited, and Vodafone Essar Limited opted out of the auction.

Mumbai had the highest bid of Rs 22.93 billion while Delhi took the second spot at Rs 22.41 billion, both being from Infotel and Qualcomm. The frequencies allocated are in the range of 2305.0 - 2325.0, and 2327.5 - 2347.5 MHz.

Tamil Nadu came next with Rs.20.69 billion, followed by Karnataka at Rs 15.43 billion and Andhra Pradesh at Rs 10.59 billion. The North-East and Jammu and Kashmir had the lowest bid at Rs 212.7 million each.

However the revenue from BWA auction may not start flowing in immediately as the network infrastructure is not in place.

Global investment bank Rothschild and telecom auction services provider DotEcon advised the government on the auctions.

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