The fifth generation of high-speed mobile internet, enables ultra-high speeds, almost about 10 times faster than 4G. (Photo: Pixabay)
India's biggest ever auction of telecom spectrum has finally ended with Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio getting nearly half of all the airwaves with a Rs 88,078 crore bid. A record over Rs 1.5 lakh crore worth of 5G telecom spectrum was sold in a seven-day auction ending on Monday (August 1).
Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that of the 72,098 MHz of spectrum offered across 10 bands, 51,236 MHz, or 71 per cent, was sold.
The 5G spectrum auction value was almost double at Rs 77,815 crore worth 4G airwaves sold last year and triple of Rs 50,968.37 crore 3G auction in 2010.
The government aims to begin the rollout of 5G by October this year.
Jio top bidder: Reliance Jio was the top bidder at the auction as it offered a cumulative bid of Rs 88,078 crore for 24,740 MHz of airwaves across five bands.
It acquired the coveted 700 MHz spectrum that can provide 6-10 km of signal range with one tower and forms a good base for offering fifth generation (5G) services, in all 22 circles or zones in the country, reported PTI.
Jio said it acquired spectrum in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1800 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands, which will enable it "to build the world's most advanced 5G network". Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Adani Group: Sunil Bharti Mittal's Bharti Airtel made a successful bid of Rs 43,084 crore, while Vodafone Idea Ltd bought spectrum for Rs 18,799 crore.
Airtel bought a total of 19,867.8 MHz of spectrum across five bands but none in 700 MHz. Vodafone Idea acquired 6228 MHz of airwaves
Adani's Group paid Rs 212 crore for 400 MHz, or less than one per cent of all spectrum sold, in a band that is not used for offering public telephony services, reported PTI.
The auction: This year, a total of 72 GHz (gigahertz) of radiowaves worth at least Rs 4.3 lakh crore was put on the block. The auction was held for spectrum in various low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz), mid (3300 MHz) and high (26 GHz) frequency bands.
The government had put on offer spectrum in 10 bands but received no bids for airwaves in 600 MHz.
About two-thirds of the bids were for the 5G bands (3300Mhz and 26Ghz), while more than a quarter of the demand came in the 700 Mhz band. The 1800 MHz band and 900 MHz bands also got demand, reported PTI.
What is 5G? The fifth generation of high-speed mobile internet, enables ultra-high speeds, almost about 10 times faster than 4G. It promises super-fast download speeds that can support future technologies like virtual reality, driverless cars etc.
With 5G, the latency time is lower which can improve the performance of business applications, videoconferencing, online gaming and other tech experiences.
While 4G focuses on ensuring connectivity, 5G networks are virtualized and software-driven, and they exploit cloud technologies. 5G would also enable solutions such as e-health, connected vehicles and metaverse experiences.