The Indian government fetched just Rs 9,407 crore, a fraction of the Rs 40,000 crore it had hoped, as the auction for the second-generation (2G) GSM spectrum ended on Wednesday.
The auction, organised after the cancellation of 122 telecom licences by the Supreme Court in the wake of the 2G scam, got a very poor response and ended after 15 rounds on the second day of bidding.
The 3G auction in 2010 had got the government Rs 66,000 crore.
None of the five companies bidding for the spectrum made any offer for pan-India airwaves for which the reserve price was set at Rs 14,000 crore.
The operators participating in the auction were Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Telenor, Videocon and Idea Cellular.
Metro cities of Delhi and Mumbai drew no bids.
The auction time is from 9 am to 7-30 pm but the companies were given extensions.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said the poor response to the 2G auction was a result of flawed execution by the government.
In a statement issued after the auction ended today, the COAI said: "All along, the COAI has maintained that the reserve price was guaranteed to have a detrimental impact on the auction... the auctions have concluded on the exact note as predicted."