NEW DELHI: The telecom department on Friday completed assignment of frequencies to successful bidders of recently-concluded auctions, and said Rs 2,306.97 crore has been received earlier than expected from Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel by assigning spectrum immediately, rather than at a scheduled later date.
An official release said that as part of the frequency assignment, the government accepted the request of two telecom operators Bharti and Reliance Jio for assignment of immediately available unsold spectrum blocks in place of spectrum blocks in the same band and circles assigned to them for later dates. "An amount of Rs 2306.97 crore (Rs 157.38 crore from Bharti and Rs 2149.59 crore from Reliance Jio) has been received immediately by the Government, rather than in August/ September, 2021," it said.
The statement added that the Department of Telecom (DoT) has successfully completed the assignment of frequencies to successful bidders of the spectrum auction 2021. Frequency assignment letters were issued to successful bidders on Friday.
It informed that the frequency assignment was accompanied by a frequency harmonisation exercise, whereby spectrum blocks assigned to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the current spectrum auction have been made contiguous with the spectrum blocks already held by them, wherever possible, in various bands in different Licensed Service Areas (LSAs). "The harmonisation of spectrum was accomplished in 19 LSAs in 800 MHz band, 8 LSAs in 900 MHz band, 21 LSAs in 1800 MHz band, 3 LSAs in 2100 MHz band, and 16 LSAs in 2300 MHz band," it said.
DoT explained that the harmonisation exercise facilitates more efficient utilisation of spectrum held by operators, leading to improved quality of service for consumers.
It is pertinent to mention here that 855.60 MHz of spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, and 2300 MHz bands were acquired by TSPs in the recent round of spectrum auction, held in early March.
The amount payable by the successful bidders for the total quantity of spectrum acquired stood at Rs 77,820.81 crore. Of this, an amount of Rs 21,918.47 crore was received as upfront payment from the players on March 18, 2021, as per the set terms and conditions.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio had spent the most in the auction, picking up 488.35 MHz spectrum in bands such as 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2300 MHz for over Rs 57,100 crore. Bharti Airtel won the right to use spectrum of total value of about Rs 18,700 crore. For Vodafone Idea, the value of spectrum bought in auctions was pegged at Rs 1,993.4 crore.
There were no takers for spectrum in 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands in the latest auctions.