A Cloud Over Bids
- Maximum activity expected in the 900 band where many companies’ spectrum will come up for renewal this year.
- Companies miffed because of high reserve price and low amount being offered in the new 2100 band. 800 band also likely to get few takers.
- Government may fetch around Rs 80,000-1,00,000 crore or a bit above reserve price only, as firms look to economise, though some have put in high earnest money.
- Telecom industry has a debt of Rs 2,50,000 cr. At reserve price, this auction will add another Rs 80,000 cr to its debt.
- Tata Teleservices, Aircel and Uninor likely to have limited exposure. Sistema Shyam, Videocon are not participating.
Even as the government gears up for a bonanza from the upcoming spectrum auctions in March, there is complete confusion and resentment among telecom players regarding the price and terms of the auction. This may lead to subdued participation in select bands. Already, some players have withdrawn from the auctions while others have approached courts for redressal. Says a top official from a leading telecom company, “The action will only be in the 900 band as some of us need to get spectrum to keep our services running. But we will ensure that bidding remains tame.”