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Bharti wins 8 circles in fourth cell bid

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, July 31

BHARTI Enterprises has bagged eight circles for the fourth cellular slot as the Government today opened the third and final round of bids following the Madras High Court vacating its stay on the bidding process.

Bharti has paid Rs 690.67 crore as bid amount to acquire these circles, including the lucrative Mumbai metro.

By issuing the fourth cellular licences in all the 17 circles, the Government would amass Rs 1,633.57 crore as entry fee.

The winners of the licence have been asked to deposit 20 per cent of their entry fee in 48 hours and the balance within 10 days, official sources said.

Apart from the entry fee, the companies will also have to share their revenues with the Government. For category A circles, the revenue sharing has been fixed at 12 per cent while for the category B, it is 10 per cent. For category C circles, the percent age of revenue sharing is eight per cent.

Apart from Mumbai, Bharti has won the circles of Gujarat (Rs 109.01 crore), Haryana (Rs 21.46 crore), Kerala (Rs 40.54 crore), Madhya Pradesh (Rs 17.45 crore), Maharashtra (Rs 189 crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs 79 crore) and UP West (Rs 30.55 crore).

The Reliance-promoted Reliable Internet, which had initially bid for 15 circles, won the circle of Kolkata for Rs 78.01 crore.

For the Delhi metro circle, the licence went to the Birla-AT&T combine for Rs 170.7 crore, while Barakhamba Sales and Services bagged the Chennai circle for Rs 154 crore.

Barakhamba has also clinched the Andhra Pradesh (103.01 crore) and Karnataka (Rs 206.83 crore) circles, officials said.

Escorts Telecom has won the circles of Himachal Pradesh (Rs 1.1 crore), Punjab (Rs 151.75 crore), Rajasthan (Rs 32.25 crore) and the UP East (Rs 45.25 crore).

The final bids were opened today as the Madras High Court had told the Centre that it was free to continue with the process of issuing the licences. The fourth cellular licences are being awarded through a three-stage bidding process.

Officials said the entire process of issuing the licence is expected to be completed by August 31, when the licences would be formally awarded to the winners.

Related links:
Continue 4th licence bidding: Bombay HC
Bharti tops bidders for fourth cell licence
Fourth cellular licences -- DoT no to extend deadline for bids

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