Telecom companies have put in bids worth Rs 58,332 crore (Rs 583.32 billion) in spectrum auction at the end of 49 rounds on the 7th day of bidding on Monday.
The amount is about 86 per cent of what 3G radiowave auction fetched in 2010, although the current round has far more spectrum for two bands - 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz - on the block.
"Total 49 rounds were over today. Total bids worth Rs 58,332.82 crore were received which is 21.7 per cent more than the total value of radiowaves put up for the auction, at the base or reserve price. Bidding will continue tomorrow," Telecom Secretary MF Farooqui said.
He added that bids worth Rs 34,743.2 crore (Rs 347.43 billion) have been received for 1800 Mhz - about 98.8 per cent of the total value of radiowaves put up for sale, at the base price.
However, in case of 900 Mhz, which has received bids worth Rs 23,589.62 crore (Rs 235.89 billion), the value has exceeded by 85 per cent at the base price.
The government will now get at least Rs 17,362.66 crore (Rs 173.62 billion) in the current fiscal from the auction in case companies opt for instalment mode.
The bidders can pay the part of the money upfront and the remaining amount over a maximum of 10 yearly instalment.
Out of five online spectrum auctions, the present auction is largest in terms of radiowaves on sale, and third longest till date in terms of duration.
3G auction in 2010 lasted for 34 days, broadband wireless access (BWA) ended in 16 days. 2G auction in November 2012, on the other hand, ended in just two days, while the CDMA auction in March last year concluded the same day.
There is no time limit for the sale of spectrum and the duration of the current auction will depend on the appetite of the eight companies in the fray -- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone,
Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Aircel, Tata Teleservices, Telewings (Uninor) and Reliance Communications.
The government has put on the block about 385 Mhz of spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band, and 46 Mhz in 900 Mhz band.