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India's mega 5G spectrum auction underway with Reliance Jio, Adani among major bidders

telecom | Jul 26, 2022 11:23 AM IST

India's mega 5G spectrum auction underway with Reliance Jio, Adani among major bidders

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5G auction: A total of 72 gigahertz (GHz) of 5G airwaves are on offer with a validity period of 20 years in the country's biggest-ever auction of spectrum.

Round 1 and 2 of the much-awaited 5G spectrum auction have been completed with the process now entering Round 3, sources aware of the developments told CNBC-TV18.

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The bidding is likely to be subdued, they said, adding that it may not go beyond a few rounds.
The mega 5G spectrum auction began on Tuesday with Reliance Jio, Adani Group, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea as participants in the race.
A total of 72 gigahertz (GHz) of 5G airwaves worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore are on offer with a validity period of 20 years in the country's biggest-ever auction of spectrum.
Reliance Jio has submitted an Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) of Rs 14,000 crore, the highest so far while Bharti Airtel has put in Rs 5,500 crore, followed by Vodafone Idea with Rs 2,200 crore. The newest in the telecom game, Adani Data, is last on the list at Rs 100 crore EMD.
EMD indicates the intent of a company on the amount of spectrum it wishes to buy.
CNBC-TV18 had earlier reported that the government is expecting to earn Rs 80,000 crore to Rs 1,00,000 crore by auctioning 5G airwaves.
The auction is being held in low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), mid (3300 MHz), and high (26 GHz) frequency bands.
According to the sources, the bidding is likely to be concentrated around mid and high frequency band spectrum. While the high frequency band of 26 GHz is likely to see keen interest from all four applicants, the mid frequency band of 3300 MHz is seeing bids from three incumbent telecom players.
The DoT's proposal to hold a mega 5G spectrum auction to roll out services which are expected to be 10 times faster than 4G was approved by the Union Cabinet last month.
"It is expected that the mid and high band spectrum will be utilised by telecom service providers to roll out 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities about 10 times higher than what is possible through the current 4G services," the government had said earlier.
It would levy a zero spectrum usage charge (SUC) on the spectrum acquired and the telecom operators will not be required to make an upfront payment. The dues can be paid in 20 equal instalments.
The spectrum allocation will happen most likely in August, post-auction.
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