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Spectrum auction: Govt may rake in over Rs 1 lakh crore

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Government has got commitments of Rs 86,000 crore from telecom players at the end of fourth day of spectrum auction crossing the targeted minimum amount of Rs 82,000 crore from the ongoing sale of 2G and 3G airwaves. The auction will resume on Monday morning as there is still unsold spectrum left.

The government may rake in above Rs 1 lakh crore from spectrum sale if bidding continues at strong pace.

“The bidding has taken place in all bands. At present, a value of approximately Rs 86,000 crore has been committed by bidders in respect of provisionally won spectrum. Bidding would recommence on Monday,” the Department of Telecom said. In four days, 24 rounds of bidding have taken place and at the end of 17 rounds yesterday, the value stood at Rs 77,000 crore.

However, the government will not release results of the auction because of a court ruling. In 800 Mhz band, four new areas of Delhi, Gujarat, Punjab and West Bengal witnessed activity today whereas 1,800 Mhz band, North-East and Rajasthan circles saw new bids. Incumbents Bharti Airtel and Vodafone are locked with Reliance to protect their spectrum .

The auction is the biggest ever sale of 2G and 3G airwaves where government is selling spectrum in four bands: 2,100 megahertz (Mhz), 1,800 MHz, 900 MHz and 800 MHz. On the fourth day, strong bidding was witnessed in all the bands and Karnataka also witnessed bidding for the first time in the 2,100 MHz band. However, there was no bidding in Mumbai, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh in 2100 MHz band.

A total of 380.75 MHz of spectrum is on offer in the premium 900 MHz band, 1,800 MHz and 800 MHz while 5 MHz is up for bidding in the 2,100 MHz band across 17 out of 22 telecom areas or circles in the country. Most of the spectrum put up for auction is presently held by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Telecom. Their licences are expiring in 2015-16.Mobile licences for nine circles of Idea Cellular, six circles of Airtel and seven circles each of Vodafone and Reliance Telecom are coming up for renewal.

Overall, there are 29 licences in 18 service areas which will expire in 2015-16. These licences hold 184 MHz spectrum in the 900 MHz band and 34.2 MHz in 1,800 MHz band. It is mandatory for these companies to bid for spectrum if they have to continue offering mobile and other telecom services as their permit is expiring. The government had raked in Rs 62,162 crore from the last spectrum auction held in February 2014.

 

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Reliance MD Mukesh Ambani Speaks on Need of Movement Against Data Colonisation

He also announced his plans to create a "fully digital Gujarat" by connecting every home, office, school, college and market through Jio.

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Gandhiji led India's movement against political colonisation... Today, we have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonisation,

Invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s movement against colonisation, Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lead a fight against “data colonisation”, saying that Indian data must be “owned and controlled” by Indians.

“I pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation, in the year of his 150th birth anniversary. Gandhiji led India’s movement against political colonisation… Today, we have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonisation,” he said addressing the “Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019” here inaugurated by Modi.

Asserting that the data is the “new oil and wealth” in the new world, he said India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporates, especially global corporations. “Honourable Prime Minister, I am sure you will make this one of the principal goals of your Digital India mission.”

“For India to succeed in this data-driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India … in other words, Indian wealth back to every Indian. India’s data must be owned and controlled by Indians only, not the global corporates. There is a need to launch a movement to bring back the control of data in our hands,” he said.

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Mukesh Ambani calls for movement against ‘data colonisation’

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had in October said that all digital payment firms like Google Pay, WhatsApp and the likes, must store data locally for their businesses in the country.

During the event, Ambani also announced that Reliance, which he said had invested Rs 3 lakh crore and catalysed one million jobs in Gujarat, would double its investment and employment numbers over the next decade.

Also Read: Reliance JioPhone Likely to Get WhatsApp Soon
He said Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail would soon launch a new commerce platform for small retailers — a mega mission which will first be launched in Gujarat and then across the country.

He also announced his plans to create a “fully digital Gujarat” by connecting every home, office, school, college and market through Jio. (IANS)