MUMBAI|NEW DELHI: With the dust settling after a hectic 10-day spectrum auction, there’s a growing realisation in the industry that Idea Cellular has emerged as a surprise package, ambushing heavyweight rivals Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Reliance Jio, to come away with crucial bandwidth in the Delhi circle, besides pushing up costs in Mumbai.
Top bidders like No. 1 telco Bharti Airtel, No. 2 Vodafone India and cash-rich newcomer Reliance Jio were taken by surprise at the aggression of the Aditya Birla Group firm’s bids for the more efficient but costlier 900 Mhz bandwidth in both Delhi and Mumbai, circles where India’s top two operators desperately wanted to corner a majority of the 16 blocks of airwaves on offer, people familiar with bidding strategies said. Read more