The auction of telecom spectrum that supports 5G services in India will begin on Tuesday (July 26). Four players, including Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea will bid for 72 GHz of radio waves worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore on offer. The fourth contender is Indian billionaire Gautam Adani.
A day ahead of the 5G spectrum auction, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had commenced pilot testing of 5G networks in four areas with the major telecom service providers like Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone ldea and BSNL.
The Union Cabinet approved the auction on June 15 and allowed non-telecom service providers to bid for spectrum to set up captive 5G networks.
The number of days of auction will depend on the actual demand for radio waves and strategy of individual bidders, PTI reported quoting sources in the department of telecom.
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.
The money: The telecom department is expecting Rs 70,000 crore to Rs 1,00,000 crore from the 5G auctions. At the reserve prices for the various bands, 72 GHz of radio waves would be worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore.
The auction: A total of 72097.85 MHz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put to auction. The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and High (26 GHz) frequency bands.
"Operators will bid for 5G networks, reducing SUC (Spectrum Usage Charges) rates and enhancing existing spectrum bands, resulting in demand mainly led by 3.3 GHz/26GHz spectrum bands," PTI reported brokerage firm Jefferies's note.
Jio is expected to lead the spends, followed by Bharti Airtel.