New Delhi — With telecom operators depositing a huge Rs 20,435 crore as earnest money for spectrum auction, government is set to garner over Rs 1 lakh crore from sale of radiowaves, after generating similar amount through sale of coal blocks.
For the entire amount of spectrum put on auction, an earnest money deposit (EMD) of Rs 12,000 crore could have been enough but telecom operators have deposited Rs 20,435 crore, which shows that fierce bidding is likely in the auction, official sources told.
"The EMD amount, which is the highest so far, shows that there is high demand of spectrum and we are looking forward to a successful spectrum auction," a Department of Telecom official said.
Based on the reserve price, the government estimated to garner over Rs 82,000 crore from the sale of radiowaves for providing 2G as well as 3G services.
At the minimum or auction start price for the 2,100 Mega-Hertz band or 3G spectrum, government would garner at least Rs 17,555 crore.
The reserve price for auction of 2G spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 Mhz and 1800 MHz bands will fetch the government Rs 64,840 crore. With the record EMD, the final earnings could be more than Rs 1 lakh crore, sources said.
Till Saturday, sale of 18 coal blocks to different companies through auction had generated an estimated over Rs 1 lakh crore for respective states.
The official added that the quantum of spectrum is lower than last time, but the EMD is higher which raises hopes of garnering over Rs 1 lakh crore from auction scheduled to start from March 4.
RJio has submitted the highest EMD of about Rs 4,500 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel Rs 4,336 crore, Idea Cellular Rs 4,000 crore, Vodafone Rs 3,700 crore, Tata Teleservices Rs 1,500.25 crore, Reliance Communications Rs 1,175 crore, Uninor Rs 724.95 crore and Aircel Rs 500 crore, sources said.
For last auction conducted in February 2014, government received EMD of Rs 8,759.75 crore from eight companies.
In 2010, nine telecom companies jointly submitted EMD of Rs 3,515 crore for 3G auctions and 11 companies Rs 2,291.25 crore for broadband wireless access spectrum that can be used for 4G services.
In the November 2012 auction, government received EMD of Rs 3,382.5 crore from eight companies for spectrum auction. For CDMA auction conducted in 2013, the lone bidder Sistema Shyam gave EMD of Rs 613.75 crore.