The 2G spectrum auction, which entered the eighth day, promised the exchequer Rs 8,980.29 crore on Tuesday as the day witnessed seven rounds of bidding, taking the total count to 56.
While the 1800 MHz band assured a sum of Rs 23,589.62 crore, the 900 MHz fetched the government Rs 23,589.62 crore.
Bids in 900 MHz band rose 185% over the reserve price and100.6% in the 1800 MHz band.
Commenting on the impact of the bidding, Mahesh Uppal, director of telecom regulatory affairs firm, Com First (India) said, "While bank funding will not be an issue for the larger players, smaller players may start dropping out from tomorrow, if the price continues to rise this way."
He said, "Another concern is that money that would have been invested by operators to improve networks will now mostly go to the government by way of spectrum fees; which means network growth - especially in terms of data connectivity in rural areas -- will suffer, as there will be no incentive for telcos to invest. This will further hurt their bottomlines."
That said, Uppal said he will be surprised if the bidding exceed $10 billion, or Rs 62,000 crore, and expects the auction should end in a day or two.
There are eight players in the auction -- Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone, Telewings, Reliance Jio, Tata Teleservices, Aircel and Idea Cellular.
A total of 385.2 MHz is available in the 1800 MHz band and 46 MHz in 900 MHz band. The auction is completely different from the last two flopped auctions. There is not time limit for the sale of spectrum and the duration will depend on the requirement and interest of the bidders. On Tuesday, excess demand was seen in Assam, Delhi and Maharashtra circles.