India’s long anticipated reauction of second generation (2G) wireless licenses that were revoked earlier this year by court order ended in disappointment on Wednesday with total proceeds falling far short of government targets and with licenses for pan-India services and for top markets such as Mumbai and Delhi attracting no bids. In all, the auction raised US$1.7 billion—a fraction of the $12.3 billion netted by India’s government in its auction of third-generation wireless spectrum two years ago and less than half of the $5.09 billion bid total anticipated for this week’s auction. Out of the five companies approved to participate in the auction, three—IDEA Cellular, Videocon, and Telenor of Norway—sought to recover licenses that were revoked by India’s Supreme Court last February. Sistema of Russia, a fourth operator impacted by the Supreme Court order, declined to participate on grounds that reserve prices set by the government were excessively high. Minimum bid prices that were seven times higher than the prices paid by the original license winners in 2008 were fingered by industry players and analysts as the principal factor behind the lackluster results of the auction, in which 101 of 144 spectrum blocks garnered no offers. Notwithstanding the high prices, Vodafone of Great Britain emerged as the top bidder, augmenting its current license holdings in India with additional spectrum in 14 circles. IDEA Cellular, one of the three participants that lost their licenses by court order, came in second place, reclaiming rights to all seven circles in which its licenses were canceled and winning licensing rights in an eighth circle. The Telewings venture, consisting of Telenor and its new local partner Lakshdeep Investments, placed third, securing spectrum in six circles. As one official told reporters that the government would decide its course of action for the unsold spectrum in several weeks, a spokesman for the Cellular Operators Association of India lamented that, “instead of bringing closure, this is prolonging the period of uncertainty for the industry.”