New Delhi: Government on Wednesday said spectrum in the 2G band was put to auction in all the telecom service areas as per the direction of Supreme Court.
"Spectrum in the 2G bands of 800 Mhz and 1800 Mhz were put to auction on all 22 service area, as directed by Hon'ble Supreme Court," Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora informed the Lok Sabha in written reply.
He was responding to query whether the government has included only a part of the spectrum in the auction out of total available spectrum.
Government recently conducted spectrum auction for 1800 Mhz band, being used for providing GSM mobile services, and there was no auction of spectrum in 800 Mhz band, being used for CDMA services, as there were no bidders for it.
After mute response to the auction, Supreme Court ticked off the Government for being "very casual" in handling the 2G case. It said that withholding of even 0.1 percent of spectrum, 122 licences for which were cancelled, will not be acceptable. Government had to file affidavit explaining why all the 2G spectrum was not put on auction.
"A total quantum of 95 Mhz of spectrum (CDMA) was put to auction in the 800 Mhz band and a total quantum of 295 Mhz (GSM) was put to auction in the 1800 Mhz band, making a total of 390 Mhz as against the quantum of spectrum of 473.6 Mhz allotted to 122 licences," Deora said.
Supreme Court in February cancelled 122 telecom licences that were allocated in 2008 in the regime of then telecom minister A Raja.
The details presented by Deora said 413.6 Mhz spectrum in 1800 Mhz band and 60 Mhz in 800 Mhz were alloted to licences that were quashed.
The spectrum auction, however, fetched far less revenue than estimated value of Rs 40,000 crore.
"The estimated revenues were Rs 40,000 crores based on the reserve price of both 1800 Mhz and 800 Mhz bands put for auction. The bid value obtained from auction of 1800 Mhz and 800 Mhz is Rs 9,704.64 crores," Deora said.
There were no bidders for Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka and Rajasthan telecom service areas in 1800 Mhz and for all service areas in the 800 Mhz band, he added.
The Minister said that confirmed bids were received for 102 blocks of 1.25 Mhz each amounting to 127.7 Mhz of spectrum in the auction as against 295 Mhz on offer.