Reliance, Bharti, Aircel bag bulk of 3G telecom circles

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Reliance, Bharti, Aircel bag bulk of 3G telecom circles
New Delhi: Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel and Aircel have won the largest number of 13 circles each in the auction of airwaves for third generation (3G) telecom services, and will collectively pay the government 27,379.96 crore ($6.08 billion).

The amount to be paid by the three companies, for which they have a 10-day deadline, is a little over 40 percent of the total amount of 67,718.95 crore ($15 billion) that the government is set to garner from the 3G auction that concluded Wednesday.

Reliance, which won the bids for circles including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Punjab will have to shell out 8,585.04 crore ($1.91 billion).

Bharti, which has won such circles as Delhi, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka will have to pay 12,295.46 crore ($2.73 billion). Aircel on the other hand, which focused largely on south India, will have to pay 6499.46 crore ($1.44 billion).

In all, as many as 71 slots were put on the block for 22 circles across India for 3G services that will facilitate faster connectivity and applications such as Internet TV, video-on-demand, audio-video calls and high-speed data exchange.

Nine companies -- Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Aircel, Etisalat, S Tel and Videocon Telecommunications -- took part in the online auction that started April 9.

Among them, Etisalat and Videocon could not win a single circle

According to the auction documents issued in February, of the 22 telecom circles, five states -- Punjab, Bihar, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir -- were to have four private players.

Other circles, including the Delhi, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu and Kolkata, were to have three private players.

The Delhi circle attracted the maximum bid amount of 3,316.93 crore ($735 million), followed by Mumbai at 3,247.07 crore ($721 million), Karnataka 1,579.91 crore ($351 million), and Tamil Nadu 1,464.94 crore ($325.5 million).

At the other end of the spectrum, the lowest bid was for Jammu and Kashmir with 30.30 crore ($673,000).
Source: IANS
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