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The biggest-ever auction of 2G and 3G spectrum started today and this is likely to fetch the government over Rs. 82,000 crore based on the reserve price.The government is however hopeful of getting around Rs. 1 lakh crore from the sale of radiowaves used for mobile telephony.The government plans to sell 380.75 MHz of spectrum in three bands -- the premium 900 MHz band, 1800 MHz and 800 MHz, besides 5 Mhz in the 2100 Mhz band across 17 out of 22 telecom areas in the country.At the minimum or auction start price for the 2,100 Mega-Hertz band or 3G spectrum, the government would garner at least Rs. 17,555 crore. The reserve price for auction of 2G spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 Mhz and 1800 MHz bands will fetch the government Rs. 64,840 crore.Most of the spectrum being put up for the auction is presently held by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Telecom. Their licences are expiring in 2015-16. Mobile licences for Idea Cellular's 9 circles, 6 circles of Airtel and 7 circles each of Vodafone and Reliance Telecom are coming up for renewal. 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. Overall 29 licences in 18 service areas will expire in 2015-16.The government had raked in Rs. 62,162 crore from the last spectrum auction in February 2014.The second round of the coal auction also starts today. The first round of coal auctions fetched over Rs. 1 lakh crore. This round of coal auction ends on March 9. Fifteen coal blocks are on offer in the second round. (With Agency Inputs)
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