Saturday, June 12, 2010

BWA auction completes Government raises Rs 38,000 Crores

WiMAX spectrum auction ends

The 16 day auction for the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum is completed. The Indian government received more than Rs 38,000 crores during the BWA spectrum auctions.

Wednesday saw the conclusion of 110 rounds of the auction of airwaves for BWA services. This is a simultaneous online auction for two slots in each of the country's 22 service areas.The auction, which began last week, saw the pan-India BWA licence price going up over 600 percent from the Rs.1,750 crore base price fixed by the government.

BWA spectrum is essential for rolling out Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) services enabling hand-held devices and laptops to access the Internet.

The spectrum will allow companies to offer high-speed Internet access as well as Internet telephony and television services. It can also be used for voice and high-speed data services.

The total receipts to the government from the combined sale of BWA and 3G spectrum crossed Rs 1.06 lakh crores. This is almost three times when compared to the projections of Rs 35,000 crore that Finance Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee made during his budget speech this February. The Department of Telecom has not shared the details regarding the BWA spectrum auction winners yet, the same will be shared shortly.

Eleven companies - Bharti Airtel, Reliance WiMax, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Augere Mauritius Ltd, Infotel Broadband Services, Qualcomm, Spice Internet Service Provider, Tata Communications Internet Services, Tikona Digital Networks and Vodafone Essar - are participating in the BWA auction.

Similar to what happened during the 3G auctions, the circles of national capital Delhi and the business capital Mumbai got the highest bids which were Rs 2,221 crore and Rs 2,272 crore respectively.

Two all-India slots of 20 MHz spectrum were auctioned during the BWA spectrum auction. Government players MTNL and BSNL were provided with the BWA spectrum before the private players but they will have to pay the amount equal to the winning bid amount in each areas of service.

The successful bidders in this auction can use the assigned frequency for commercial purposes immediately after they get the spectrum.Broadband Wireless Access spectrum can be used for high speed Internet and data services along with services like Voice, Internet Telephony and internet based Television services

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