Bids for one set of all-India wireless broadband spectrum licences reached 31.98 billion rupees ($670 million), or about 83 percent higher than the base price, on the second day of an auction, government data showed on Tuesday. Eleven firms including India's top three telecoms firms — Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Vodafone Essar — and U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc, are bidding for broadband spectrum.

The current auction follows bidding for third-generation (3G) spectrum that ended last Wednesday after 34 days and 183 rounds. The sale fetched the Indian government 677 billion rupees in revenue, nearly double the total estimated from both 3G and wireless broadband spectrum auctions. The base price for one set of all-India wireless broadband spectrum licence was set at 17.5 billion rupees. Two such all-India licences are on offer for private firms, while a third set has been reserved for state-run firms which would have to match the final bid prices.

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