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5G auction in India: Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel key players as spectrum worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore on offer

Vivek Mishra
Vivek MishraJul 26, 2022 | 10:19

5G auction in India: Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel key players as spectrum worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore on offer

The fifth generation of high-speed mobile internet, enables ultra-high speeds, almost about 10 times faster than 4G.

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.

  • 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.
  • Mobile users can stay connected as they move between outdoor wireless connections and wireless networks inside buildings without the need for users to reauthenticate.

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 Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) of all the four applicants seeking 5G radio waves this time adds up to Rs 21,800 crore
  • Reliance Jio has made a Rs 14,000 crore EMD while rival Adani group has deposited a modest Rs 100 crore. Bharti Airtel had put in Rs 5,500 crore as EMD while for Vodafone Idea the amount stands at Rs 2,200 crore.
  • EMD is an amount given as earnest money, the mandatory sum required to confirm a contract and the amount also hits at the amount of spectrum a company is eyeing to buy.

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.

Last updated: July 26, 2022 | 10:53
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