The first day of the eagerly awaited telecommunications auction drew Rs 77,146 crore of bids, Telecommunications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

A call for tenders was held for spectrum in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz bands. However, participants did not bid in the 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands.

Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea were the bidders in the last auction against seven bidders in the previous auctions in 2016.

Reliance Jio had submitted a Serious Money Deposit (EMD) of Rs 10,000 crore for the auction, the highest among the three private telecommunications operators. Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, submitted an EMD of Rs 3,000 crore and Vodafone Idea submitted an EMD of Rs 475 crore.

A statement says that the bidder’s details on the quantity won and the amount payable will not be available until after the auction has concluded.

A total of 2,308.80 MHz of frequencies are being auctioned, of which there have so far been bids for 849.20 MHz. According to the government, excluding spectrum in the 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands, offers have been received for almost 60 percent of the spectrum.

The auction is expected to end on Tuesday.

Four rounds of bidding took place until 6 p.m. Monday, two more rounds are expected on Tuesday. Electronic auctioning is based on the Simultaneous Multiple-Round Escalating Auction (SMRA) methodology.

The current auction does not include frequencies in the 3300-3 600 MHz bands that have been identified for 5G services.

The spectrum that will be allocated to successful bidders is valid for 20 years.

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