Telecom

5G Auction: Jio, Airtel, Vi start bidding in spectrum auction

The ongoing 5G auction in India is expected to generate around Rs 4.3 lakh crore for 72GHz of 5G airwaves across 10 bands.

Published:Tue, July 26, 2022 11:23am

By Shweta Ganjoo

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India's top telecom companies -- Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea -- along with the Adani group have started bidding in the 5G spectrum auction in India. Together, the four companies have submitted a combined earned money deposit (EMD) of Rs 21,400 core ahead of the 5G auction that is expected to generate around Rs 4.3 lakh crore for 72GHz of 5G airwaves across 10 bands.

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According to the data shared by the government, Reliance Jio has submitted an EMD of Rs 14,000 crore, while Bharti Airtel has put in Rs 5,500 crore. On the other hand, Vodafone Idea has put in 2,200 crore while the Adani Group has put in Rs 100 crore for EMD.

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At today's auction, which started at 10AM and is likely to go until 6PM, 5G airwaves in low, mid and high frequency bands will be up for bidding. These bands are -- 600MHz, 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, and 2300MHz for low frequency bands, 3300 MHz for mid-frequency band and 26GHz for high-frequency band.

As far as spending is concerned, Jio is expected to spend the highest by purchasing 100 units of C-band (3.3-3.67 GHz) pan-India, 800-1, 150 units of 26GHzmm waves pan-India. Some reports also suggest that Jio will buy 330 units of 700MHz airwaves pan-India.

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Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, is expected to purchase 100 units of C-band pan-India, 800-1, 150 units of 26GHz waves pan-India. It is also likely to purchase airwaves in 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2300MHz bands.

Vodafone Idea is expected to spend the least by purchasing 50 units C-band (3.3-3.67GHz), 550 units of 26 units of 26GHz in metropolitan cities, and Tier A and Tier B cities. It is also expected to purchase airwaves in 900MHz and 1800MHz band.

Adani Group's Adani Data Network is likely to target 100 units of 26GHz spectrum by spending less than Rs 1,000 crore.

Gautam Adani created ripples in the Indian telecom industry when he announced that his Adani Group will compete in the 5G spectrum auction in India. At the time, he had said that the 5G spectrum that his company purchases will be used to build a private network to service its enterprises, including data centres, airports, and power. At the time, the company had also clarified that it had no interest in entering the consumer mobility market.

"Adani's intent to buy spectrum in upcoming auctions only for private use has uncanny similarities to Jio's (Reliance Industries Ltd) purchase of 2300 MHz spectrum in 2010 that could not be used for voice services. Spectrum bought through auctions can be used to offer commercial services in the future by taking a Universal Access License," financial services firm Jefferies said in a research report, as reported by IANS.

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