The Indian mobile unit of Russian operator group Sistema has secured CDMA spectrum in eight circles in India as the sole bidder, reports Reuters.
Sistema Shyam TeleServices will pay INR36.39 billion ($670 million) for the spectrum blocks, the minimum bid price. The price had already been cut after no companies lodged bids in an auction in November 2012.
Sistema lost its permits to operate in 21 service areas following the Indian Supreme Court’s decision early in 2012 to revoke 122 2G spectrum licences due to irregularities in their allocation in 2008.
The company previously said it would stop operating in 10 zones and bid in select areas and will shut down operations in three zones, including Mumbai, where it declined to bid. It will be able to offset around $300 million it paid for earlier permits.
The Indian government is raising funds via spectrum auctions and surcharges on previously won-spectrum.
However, the auctions haven’t all gone to plan with some operators failing to bid, citing excessive prices as an obstacle. Less than a quarter of the $7.4 billion target was raised in the 2G auction in November while the latest auction was originally planned to raise $7.9 billion.