5G Spectrum Auction Begins Online in India: Jio, Vi, Airtel, Adani Participate and Details

The 5G auction sale will end at 6 p.m., but it may be extended based on demand.

5G Spectrum Auction Begins Online in India: Jio, Vi, Airtel, Adani Participate and Details
5G Spectrum Auction Begins Online in India

The much-anticipated 5G auction is taking place today in India, with big names like Reliance Jio, Adani Group, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea participating in the online 5G spectrum auction. After years of planning and postponing, the auction finally began today at 10 a.m.

The race for the 5th generation mobile network has also drawn Mukesh Ambani (Jio) and Gautam Adani (Adani Group/Adani Data Networks), two of India's richest tycoons and billionaires. The 5G auction for 72GHz radio waves across 10 bands is estimated to be worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore, and as expected, telecom majors bid.

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5G Spectrum Auction in India: Details

The Union Cabinet recently authorized the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to conduct a 5G auction in India. The spectrum will be assigned to bidders through the online bidding, which began today, through which 5G services will be provided to enterprises and end users. According to previous reports, 5G will be fully operational in India by March 2023, which is less than a year away.

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According to an Economic Times report, Reliance Jio is expected to come out on top, followed by Bharti Airtel, and then Vodafone Idea (Vi), which is expected to go for limited airwaves in its 17 priority markets. Adani, the new entrant, is expected to buy only a small amount of spectrum for its captive network in some cities. Here are the highlights of the action:

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  • Low-band airwaves 一 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz
  • Mid-band/ C-band 一 3.3-3.67 GHz
  • High band 一 26 GHz

To encourage bidding, the government also removed spectrum usage charges (SUC) from the 5G auction and relaxed payment terms. Overall, it appears that there are currently only two major bidders: Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, with little interest from Vi and Adani Group.