The 1800 Mhz and 2300 Mhz bands - both used for 4G - saw the most bidding interest after five rounds of bidding, according to data issued by the telecom department.
Leading Indian telcos including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio Infocomm set the ball rolling on day one of India’s largest ever spectrum sale.
The 2300 Mhz, which is being sold for the first time since the first sale in 2010, was among the most sought after with a three-cornered fight between Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone.
Telcos are vying for the 4G bandwidth which gives large coverage. The band drew bids worth Rs 15,390 crore which put in combined bids worth Rs 53,531 crore, though the coveted 700 Mhz bandwidth.
In the 1800 Mhz band, intense bidding was seen in Mumbai and Maharashtra circles. Other circles including Haryana, Kolkata, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh East, witnessed excess demand.
The other 4G band – 800 Mhz – saw bids leading to excess demand in only four circles – Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh East.
Demand was tepid in the 2100 Mhz band, primarily used for 3G services in India, and one where top telcos such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are looking to plug coverage gaps.
The 2500 Mhz band also saw limited demand with telcos using it as a backup in case the 2300 Mhz band price goes high.
No bidding was seen in the premium 700 Mhz band which is to be auctioned at a reserve or base price of Rs 11,485 crore per Mhz.
The cost of delivering mobile services in this band is estimated to be around 70% lower than 2100 Mhz band used for providing 3G services.