I was determiend to find out what were the 4th cellular operators license costs in India that were auctioned of in 2001. I first looked at DOT & TRAI but I couldn’t expect more from them being government managed websites. Then I landed up on Hindu. I found two reports which contradict each other as to what prices the telecom operators paid to the government as license fees. Check out – One and Two.

In the first report it says Bharti was the top bidder for Gujarat (Rs 102.56 crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs 77.85 crore) and Kolkata (Rs 77.85 crore). It also leads in Kerala (Rs 40.53 crore), Uttar Pradesh (West) (Rs 30.54 crore), Uttar Pradesh (East) (Rs 30.54 crore), Haryana (Rs 21.45 crore) and Madhya Pradesh (Rs 17.45 crore).

In the second report for Bharti it said 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).

In the firsr report for Reliance it said Kolkata (Rs 25 crore).

In the second report for Reliance it says Reliance-promoted Reliable Internet, which had initially bid for 15 circles, won the circle of Kolkata for Rs 78.01 crore.

Also for Punjab – Rs105 crores first report Vs Rs151crores in the second report.

Both of the above were reported by Hindu News Bureaus and not PTI. So were the operators allowed to change the bids after they were submitted ? That will be a larger telecom scandal 😉
Its not just the question of Hindu or BusinessLine. Check out what EconomicTimes writes about Reliance’s results in comparison with Bharti.

While Bharti gets nearly 74% of its revenues from mobile services, the share of wireless is lower in the case of Reliance Communications.

They are so wrong about it. Check out page 9 of this official Bharti report which says, they derive 71% of their revenue from Mobile division and not 74% as reported by EconomicTimes. Infact Reliance derives 74.8% from its wireless operations.(Rs2432 crores from total revenues of Rs3250 crores)

I am glad I had a closer look before making my BUY/SELL decisions on both of these stocks and not just rely on flawed data from Indian major financial daily, The EconomicTimes.