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India's spectrum auction closes far below expectations

India's biggest spectrum auction came to a close with only 657.89 billion Indian rupees secured of the expected 5.6 trillion rupees, The Economic Times of India reported Oct. 7.

Most of the bidding took place on the opening day, with nearly 60% of the total airwaves up for auction remaining unsold through subsequent rounds. They included the premium 700 MHz band, which is considered ideal for 4G coverage.

Among the seven telcos taking part, Vodafone UK's Indian unit was the auction's biggest spender, with more than 200 billion rupees in bids for spectrum, the report said.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. followed with 142.44 billion rupees, followed by Reliance Jio Infocomm with 136.72 billion rupees and Idea Cellular with 127.98 billion rupees.

Reliance Industries Ltd. is the parent company of Reliance Jio.

As of Oct. 6, US$1 was equivalent to 66.77 Indian rupees.