India raises $18 billion in spectrum auction

India raises $18 billion in spectrum auction

India’s spectrum auction has raised a record $17.6 billion (1.1 trillion rupee), concluding 19 days of intense bidding.

The auction saw eight operators bid for spectrum in 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2,100MHz after 115 rounds of bidding, exceeding the $10 billion raised from the last sale in February 2010.

Proceeds from the spectrum auction will help the government meet its fiscal deficit.

Almost 40% of the spectrum at the sale was for the 900MHz band. About 89% of the spectrum on sale was provisionally allocated to bidders. 

Names of the winners were not announced as officials were barred from announcing the results by the country’s Supreme Court. India’s apex court is scheduled to hear cases filed by operators challenging auction procedures on Thursday. 

Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel are competing with billionaire Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm as the company prepares to roll out its LTE services this year. 

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