Total bids in India’s spectrum auction reached $8.46 billion at the end of day four, with prices starting to ratchet up in Delhi and Mumbai.
The 1800MHz band received total bids worth $4.9 billion, while the 900MHz part of the spectrum drew $3.5 billion. There are actually more radio frequencies on offer in the 1800 MHz band.
Geographically, the leading markets of Delhi and Mumbai saw a significant jump in interest for the 900MHz band. Bids for spectrum in the former were 78 per cent up versus the reserve price fixed by the goverrment, while Mumbai saw a 72 per cent jump.
Leading operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone are fighting to keep hold of their frequencies in those cities. They are also arguably the country’s most attractive markets.
Already this auction is outpacing recent, dismal efforts by the government to sell off airwaves. An earlier auction in November 2012 lasted only two days, while another in March 2013 managed only a single day.
Still, the current sell-off still has some way to go before matching the famous 3G auction in 2010 which went on for 34 days.