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India’s biggest auction of telecom spectrum ended yesterday with Rs 65,789 crore of bids coming in over five days. It is against an expectation of Rs 5.6 lakh crore leaving nearly 60 per cent of airwaves, including premium 4G bands unsold. The auction, which commenced on 1st of this month was spread over five days and 31 rounds.
Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said bids were received for 964.80 Mega Hertz of spectrum out of 2,354.55 Mega Hertz across seven bands put on offer. Talking to reporters in New Delhi, Mr Sinha said, the total upfront payment to the government is about Rs 32,000 crore which is the highest in the last five years. He said, wherever operators wanted to improve their data services, they participated. 
Government sold about 20 per cent of the airwaves in 800 Mega Hertz , 79 per cent in 1800 Mega Hertz , 24 per cent in 2100 Mega Hertz and 62 per cent in 2500 Mega Hertz band.
As per the rules, companies winning spectrum in frequency bands above 1 Giga Hertz - 1800 Mega Hertz , 2100 Mega Hertz , 2300 Mega Hertz and 2500 Mega Hertz - will have to make 50 per cent upfront payment, while the rest can be paid in 10 years after a two-year moratorium.
Telecom operators were in the race to arm themselves with spectrum to maintain competitive edge in providing quality and next generation mobile services to consumers in the world’s second largest telecom market.
UK-based Vodafone’s India unit was the most aggressive, taking home Rs 20,000 crore worth of spectrum. Bharti Airtel, the nation’s biggest telecom company, bought Rs 14,244 crore worth of spectrum, while Idea Cellular put in 12,798 crore rupees of bids. Newcomer Reliance Jio has spent Rs 13,672 crore on spectrum buying.

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