Telecom operators Vodafone and Tata Teleservices Wednesday made payments of Rs. 10,100 crores and Rs. 2,300 crores, respectively, to the government for spectrum they bought in the recently-concluded auction.
The two telecom companies made the payment to theDepartment of Telecom (DoT), a day before October 20, which is the last date for making spectrum payment.
Vodafone, which emerged as the most aggressive bidder in the recent spectrum auction, paid Rs 10,100 crore under the deferred payment option, which involves part upfront payment and balance payment in ten yearly instalments after a two-year moratorium, DoT sources told PTI.
In the case of deferred payment option, telecom operators are required to pay 50 per cent of the bid amount upfront for spectrum bought in 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz, and 2500MHz bands, and 25 percent of the bid amount in the case of spectrum in the 800MHz band.
Vodafone also paid a financial bank guarantee of Rs. 1,900 crores, sources added.
The country’s second-largest telecom operator had made bids worth Rs. 20,280 crores to acquire spectrum in all its key telecom circles across 1800, 2100 and 2500MHz bands, and its overall spectrum spend placed it ahead of other rivals such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and the newcomer Reliance Jio.
Tata Teleservices also made its spectrum payment today. The company – which had fought fiercely to protect its spectrum holding in three circles, including the highly-lucrative Mumbai market – paid about Rs. 2,300 crores to DoT for airwaves it bought in the recent auction.
When contacted, both Vodafone and Tata Teleservices declined to comment on the issue.
Tata Teleservices bought airwaves worth Rs. 4,619 crores in circles of Mumbai, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh in 1800MHz band, during spectrum auctions which concluded recently.
It was crucial for the Tata Group company to get spectrum in the Mumbai and Maharashtra circles as its licence in these lucrative circles is set to expire next year.
The spectrum auction – which was touted as India’s largest sale of mobile airwaves – ended on October 6 after merely five days of bidding and garnered bids of just Rs. 65,789 crores against an expectation of Rs. 5.6 lakh crores, leaving nearly 60 percent of airwaves, including premium 4G bands, unsold.
Bharti Airtel, the nation’s biggest telecom company, bought Rs. 14,244 crores worth of spectrum, while Idea Cellular put in Rs. 12,798 crores of bids.
Newcomer Reliance Jio spent Rs. 13,672 crores on spectrum buying. Other operators which bought spectrum included RCom (about Rs. 65 crores) and Aircel (Rs. 111 crores).