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BWA auction completes 110 rounds, accruals at $6.89 billion

New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) The Indian government’s provisional revenue from the sale of airwaves for broadband wireless access (BWA) services Wednesday reached Rs.31,038.33 crore ($6.89 billion) and the pan-India licence price touched Rs.12,257.3 crore ($2.72 billion).

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.

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.

According to the latest information available on the website of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Mumbai and Delhi attracted the highest bids. Mumbai got bids at Rs.2,152.95 crore while Delhi got bids worth Rs.2,101.02 crore.

The government has already allocated one block each of 20 MHz of unpaired spectrum to Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) in their respective service areas.

The two state-run firms will have to pay the winners’ price.

The successful bidders in this auction can use the assigned frequency for commercial purposes immediately after they get the spectrum, the DoT has said.

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