All seven top operators on Wednesday submitted their applications to participate in the country’s largest spectrum auctions scheduled for October. However, there were no new entrants in the current round.
The operators that submitted their applications include Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Tata Teleservices, a top government official said on condition of anonymity.
Wednesday is the last date for submission of applications by companies who want to participate in the spectrum auctions.
The Department of Telecommunications is putting on sale spectrum in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz, with a total price tag of Rs 5.63 lakh crore at base rates. The auctions are scheduled to be conducted from October 1.
In a recent note, India Ratings and Research said top telecom companies will strengthen their spectrum holdings in the upcoming auctions further marginalising smaller operators. Vodafone India and Idea Cellular will be active bidders for their 4G network rollout, while Bharti Airtel will look to bridge gaps in its spectrum holdings, the agency said.
High debt of top telecom companies will weigh on their participation, it said. “Key players to invest in profitable and bigger circles and rationalise spectrum in others and divest non-core assets to free up capital for investment into 4G LTE infrastructure,” India Ratings said. FE