Largest Telecom Spectrum Auction Announced – Big Blocks in 2.0GHz+ on Sale

The Indian Department of Telecom (DoT) has put out the Notice Inviting Application (NIA) for auction of seven spectrum bands starting from 29th September 2016. The spectrum bands include 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2500MHz constituting a total of 2356 MHz spectrum with the largest chunk in the 700MHz band. This auction is the Largest ever Telecom Spectrum auction till date in terms of quantity, quality and price of spectrum being put on (more…)

DoT & TRAI Differ on Minimum Block Size for Feb 2015 Auction

TRAI had recommended a minimum bid block size of 3.6 MHz for 900 band spectrum versus the 5 MHz bid block size stipulated for the Feb 2014 auctions. The DoT argued that there has been no change in market dynamics since the Feb 2014 auctions and hence there is no need to change the minimum bid block size.

The TRAI, rightly noting the limited availability of spectrum in these auctions and the much-higher possibility of irrational/tactical bids with a 5 MHz bid block size, has reiterated its earlier recommendation of keeping the minimum bid block size at 3.6 MHz (for all circles except West Bengal where the TRAI recommends 2.4 MHz noting availability of only 4.4 MHz spectrum in (more…)

1800MHz Spectrum Frenzy – Operators Betting Big on Data

4G LTE IndiaDespite ample supply at the 14 February auction, prices in 1,800 MHz reached INR 22.7bn/MHz, 29% over the reserve price. Prices for 900 MHz in Mumbai/Delhi Kolkata rose an average 2.3x the 1,800 MHz price. Both prices were higher than we anticipated. Demand shot up mainly because of (1) incumbents’ eagerness to corner 1,800 MHz for 4G / LTE and de-risk their 900 MHz holdings; (2) Reliance Jio’s demand for 5.0-6.6 MHz across 14 Metro / A-category circles. Reliance Jio Infocomm’s entry is not worrisome, but the industry may have overpaid for data potential.

Idea Cellular’s Love for 900Mhz Spectrum
Though Idea’s acquisition of 5 MHz in the 900 MHz band in Delhi makes it slightly better positioned for 3G data, the company is still short of data spectrum, in our view, despite aggressive participation in the 1,800 MHz band auctions. We also think that Idea has tried to de-risk the upcoming 900 MHz auctions in its key (more…)

Reliance Jio Infocomm 1800MHz Spectrum Win Confirms Takeover of Videocon Telecom

Breaing NewsThe 1800Mhz Spectrum Auction comes to an end with Reliance Jio Infocomm winning 14 out of the 22 Circles. R-Jio has won 5MHz-7MHz of 1800MHz spectrum in 14 circles for a total investment of ~Rs111bn. We believe it would look to complete the pan-India footprint in 1800MHz (to be used for 2G voice) through acquisition Videocon Telecom.

The Circles where Reliance Jio has bid and won the Spectrum complement the circles where Mukesh Ambani backed Videocon Telecom has already secured (more…)

Telecom Spectrum auction is getting competitive

The ongoing spectrum auction has become competitive for the 900Mhz band spectrum, which is on offer in the three metros (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkatta). The incumbents currently hold spectrum primarily in 900Mhz band and would lose access in Nov 2014 if they fail to win it back in the auction.

In the 900MHz band, cumulatively Mumbai has witnessed the highest price escalation of ~72% over the reserve price. Delhi/ Kolkata have recorded 59%/ 54% appreciation in bid price over the three days. 900MHz price for all three metros are in the range of 2.6-2.7x 1800MHz prices for these circles. (more…)

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