The battle for spectrum is expected to be intense this time with as many as eight telecom companies, including Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone, submitting applications to take part in the auctions scheduled for February 3.
Wednesday was the last day to submit applications and companies have the option to withdraw them by January 27. Barring Videocon, Loop Mobile and Sistema Shyam, all the other existing telecom companies are in the fray. In comparison, there was only one bidder during the previous auction, in March last year.
There are, however, no new names despite the Government allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the telecom sector.
The renewed enthusiasm among the existing operators is primarily driven by two factors. One, the reserve price has been reduced from earlier rounds and, two, a number of licences are set to expire this year.