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On Day 1 of Spectrum Auction in Five Years, Bids Fetch Rs 77,146 Crore

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the auction will continue on Tuesday.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the auction will continue on Tuesday.

Over 2,250 MHz of spectrum, that carry telecom signals, in seven bands worth nearly Rs 4 lakh crore at reserve or start price, was offered for bidding.

New Delhi: India's first auction of spectrum in five years attracted Rs 77,146 crore of bids on the opening day on Monday with Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea putting in bids. Over 2,250 MHz of spectrum, that carry telecom signals, in seven bands worth nearly Rs 4 lakh crore at reserve or start price, was offered for bidding in the auction that began on Monday.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Rs 77,146 crore worth of spectrum was bid on the first day but there were no takers for the airwaves in the premium 700 and 2500 MHz bands. The auction, he said, will continue on Tuesday.

Bids were received in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz bands. About one-third of the spectrum being auctioned is in the 700 MHz band, which was completely unsold during the 2016 auctions. This, analysts said, was mostly because operators are unlikely to diversify into a new spectrum band that would require incremental investment in equipment, when other sub-GHz bands are available at lower prices.