« Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo reportedly launching soon in India, priced at Rs 19,010
How to: enable tap-to-sleep for any Android phone or tablet »

2G spectrum auction over; Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone lap up key telecom circles

|February 14 2014 |Industry News, Mobile Operators, 4G, Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Tata Docomo, Aircel

Telecom operators

After 68 rounds of intense bidding over a period of 10 days between telecom operators, the latest spectrum auction has come to an end. The auction conducted by DoT (Department of Telecommunications) was for the 2G airwaves in the 900MHz and 1800MHz band in 22 circles for 20 years. The participants in the fray included eight telecom companies – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Telewings (formerly Uninor) and Reliance Communications.

The auction garnered bids worth Rs 61,162 crore for the government, much higher than the expected revenue of Rs 41,000 crore. However the companies need to pay a quarter to one-third of their bids as upfront payment and the remaining amount can be paid till 2026.

900MHz: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea retained their licenses

The auction was important for incumbents like Airtel and Vodafone as the license already owned by them was set to expire in November 2014. This resulted in aggressive bidding from them in order to continue their services. Another reason for the high value of the 900MHz band is that it’s a lower frequency band and hence its infrastructure and setup costs are lower as compared to the 1,800MHz band. Government had put up the 900MHz band for sale in three circles – Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and all of them were mopped up by Airtel and Vodafone, with Idea also able to buy the license for the Delhi circle.

Here’s a look at the telecom circles and operators who successfully bid for the 900MHz band-

Telecom circle


Delhi Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular
Mumbai Airtel, Vodafone
Kolkata Airtel, Vodafone

1,800MHz: Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio bagged maximum circles

As expected, Reliance Jio Infocomm went all out to acquire the 2G spectrum bagging licenses for 14 out of 22 circles. This will help their yet-to-be-launched operations to offer voice services in conjunction with the data-based services on the 4G spectrum. The company had procured the 2,300 MHz frequency band for 4G services pan-India in an auction held in 2010. There's a lot of excitement around availability of 4G networks in the  country, as users can expect high data speeds. However operators have been slow to introduce it, and only recently Airtel has started offering 4G services on mobile in Bangalore.

Airtel also won this spectrum in 15 telecom circles, followed by Vodafone who obtained licenses for 11 circles. The third largest telecom operator in terms of subscribers Idea Cellular also purchased 1,800MHz band in 11 circles.

Although, Tata Teleservices participated in the bidding process, it seems to be missing out in the final action.

The list of telecom circles and operators who successfully bid for the 1,800MHz band is as follows-

Telecom circle


Andhra Pradesh Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio, TeleWings, Vodafone
Assam Reliance Jio, TeleWings
Bihar TeleWings
Delhi Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio, Vodafone
Gujarat Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio, Vodafone
Haryana Idea Cellular, Vodafone
Himachal Pradesh Airtel
Jammu and Kashmir Aircel, Airtel
Karnataka Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio, Vodafone
Kerala Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio, Vodafone
Kolkata Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio, Vodafone
Madhya Pradesh Airtel, Reliance Jio
Maharashtra Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio
Mumbai Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio, Vodafone
North East Aircel, Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio
Orissa Airtel, Reliance Jio
Punjab Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone
Rajasthan Aircel, Airtel, Vodafone
Tamilnadu Airtel, Reliance Jio
Uttar Pradesh (East) Aircel, TeleWings, Vodafone
Uttar Pradesh (West) TeleWings
West Bengal Aircel, Airtel, Reliance Jio

Subscribe to our newsletter
Follow Us

Top Mobiles