2015 Spectrum Auction Implications – Entry Cost Rises, Tariffs Look Up

Spectrum Auction ImplicationsThe mega 2015 spectrum auctions finally concluded after 19 days and 115 rounds of aggressive bidding. The Clearing Prices are as shown in this chart.

Entry Cost for Wireless Operators Rise Significantly in India
Even as most of the challengers (barring RCOM) did not face spectrum renewals in these auctions, their medium-term prospects of survival in the Indian wireless market just got bleaker, in our view. High spectrum prices are now a reality, for all operators, irrespective of their revenue market share. Spectrum pricing has now hit a level where even the most efficient operators (more…)

Why Airtel / Vodafone / Idea Won’t Overbid in 2015 Mega Spectrum Auction ?

2015 900Mhz Spectrum Auction 8 operators have submitted applications to participate in the bidding for the 2015 Mega Telecom Spectrum Auction. Reliance Jio is the surprise entrant with highest earnest money deposit (EMD) thus creating the fears of aggressive bidding. Idea cellular will be the most vulnerable if Reliance focuses on winning the 900MHz band Idea doesn’t have enough fire power to bid up if the process turns aggressive as the capability is limited by the EMD paid and may have to take an alternative path to the 2100 Mhz spectrum.

Why will Airtel / Vodafone and Idea Cellular Avoid Overbidding ?

I will renew my 900 MHz renewal spectrum at any cost (more…)

Idea’s Risk of Spectrum Renewal in 2015 Auction, LTE Delay A Risk ?

Idea Spectrum Renewal ChallengeIn the upcoming 2015 mega spectrum auctions, Idea Cellular has 900 Mhz spectrum up for renewal in 9 circles accounting for about 72% of Idea’s last twelve month (LTM) revenues. In 2 circles (Gujarat and UP (West)), Idea has almost no back-up spectrum to offer voice services and about 15% of its revenues from these circles would be at high risk if it is unable to renew the spectrum.

In the upcoming spectrum auctions in February 2015, 59 MHz of 900 MHz and 9.2 Mhz of 1800 Mhz frequency of Idea are coming up for renewal. If we take DoT reserve prices as the auction price, we expect total renewal outgo to be Rs172 bn for Idea following the auction.

Idea has significant gaps in its (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…)

How Many More 3G Operators can be Accommodated in 900Mhz Spectrum Band ?

Contiguity is the key factor for the launch of 3G services and a minimum requirement for a successful rollout. We look at availability of extra spectrum across the circles (including surrender of spectrum from BSNL) and the corresponding contiguous blocks.

We note that in six of the 18 circles, there is a creation of an additional block of 5Mhz thereby allowing each of the top-three operators to gain presence in the market. On the contrary, in other circles, for example in Madhya Pradesh, either of the top-three is capable of winning, while (more…)

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