Day three of the e-auction of radio frequency spectrum, or airwaves, with the eight companies in the fray made an offer for Rs.77,000 crore at the end of the 17th round, the government said on Friday.
"Seventeenth round was completed with Rs.77,000 crore commitment today (Friday)," the government said.
It was learnt that on Friday there were six fresh rounds of bidding.
On March 5, at the end of 11th rounds of bidding a total offer of Rs.65,000 crore was made by the telcos.
The eight telecom service providers participating in the auctions are Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Tata Teleservices, Uninor, Idea Cellular and Aircel.
They have submitted earnest money of Rs.20,435 crore, which is two-and-a-half times what had been called for.
The total spectrum put for auction is 103.75 MHz in 800 MHz band, 177.8 MHz in 900 MHz band and 99.2 MHz in 1,800 MHz band for second generation (2G) telephony.
The government has also put up 5 MHz in the 2,100 MHz band third generation (3G) telephony.
The government had fixed a reserve price of Rs.3,646 crore for pan-India per MhZ for 800 MHz frequency, Rs.3,980 crore for 900 MHz band and Rs.2,191 crore for the 1,800 MHz band.
The government also fixed a reserve price of Rs.3,705 crore per megahertz for the frequency for 3G spectrum.
As per estimates, at the base price alone, the auction will translate into some Rs.82,000 crore, even as the government expects the actual process to fetch over Rs.100,000 crore.
The finalisation of the bids is subject to the Supreme Court's directive, where the matter is being heard.
This would mean the government could realise well over the budgeted Rs.43,161.72 crore as non-tax receipts under the head of "other communications", the bulk of it from the spectrum auction, as also from entry fee from new operators and related levies.