India's Idea pays $4.8b for airwaves, most in auction
Idea Cellular Ltd, India's third-biggest mobile operator by market share, spent 303.06 billion rupees ($4.84 billion) to buy mobile airwaves in the country's spectrum auctions, telecoms minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.
That was the single biggest amount spent. Together with market leaders Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Group Plc's India unit, the top three players paid 855.75 billion rupees, or about 78 percent of the total airwaves sold, according to figures provided by the minister.
The government expects to receive about 288.72 billion rupees ($4.61 billion) in initial payments, which winning bidders have to make by April 4.
India raised a record $17.6 billion from the sale of mobile phone airwaves after 19 days of fierce bidding that ended Wednesday.