The auctions for the 3G Spectrum across the various telecom circles in India concluded today with the Government garnering a whopping ~70,000 Crores in bids. A total of nine companies participated in the bidding for 3G spectrum – all of the biggies and the wannabes in the scorchingly growing Indian Telecom Market. But only seven came away with a grin, and a huge bill to foot!
A clutch of 13 circles were bagged by Bharti Airtel and Aircel whereas 12 circles went to Reliance Communications. Idea Cellular got 10 circles, Vodafone and Tata Teleservices 9 each whilst STel got 3 circles. Etisalat DB and Videocon were left empty-handed.
However, due to the extremely high-profile nature of the circles it bagged, Bharti would have to shell out nearly Rs 12,300 crore for the 13 circles whereas Aircel, which also got 13 circles owes only around Rs 6,500 crore. Vodafone would pay approx. Rs 11,600 crore, Reliance Communications approx Rs 8,600 crore, Tata Teleservices approx. Rs 5,900 crore and Idea Rs 5,800 crore to pick up the 3G spectrum.
Now for the er…um…bad news; well, at least from my perspective: the Andhra Pradesh circle – where I live in – went to Bharti, Idea and Aircel and NOT to Vodafone, which is my operator! And Vodafone neither gets Orissa – my hometown – nor Karnataka – the place I kinda frequently visit! I’ll be honest in admitting that I’m not sure as to how that affects an end-user though. So if a subscriber wants to enjoy 3G, he *has to* shift to any operator who has a 3G license? Or will his current operator get some spectrum from the license-holder in lieu of a fee? Lemme know if you know, will ya.