GSM radiowaves or spectrum in all the 22 zones is more than seven times of what the companies paid in 2008.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, the nation's largest telecom company, had last week predicted that the auction would be over on first day itself because of the high base price.
"There is a pervading sense of gloom. There is everybody who invests in India is open to attack...No one wants to invest in India, there is uncertainty," noted jurist Harish Salve said.
The bids received so far are a far cry from the Rs 28,000 crore minimum revenue that the government is expecting from the auction of wireless spectrum reclaimed after the Supreme Court cancelled 122 permits issued in 2008.
The government had set a bid starting price of Rs 14,000 crore for 5 megahertz of GSM airwave space in all of India's 22 telecommunications zones. The base price was more than seven times what carriers paid in 2008.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Norway's Telenor and Videocon are bidding for GSM, but there are no bidders for the CDMA spectrum after Tata Teleservcies and Videocon pulled out of the race.