India gets Rs.1,50,173 crore from 5G auction. Reliance Jio pays Rs.88,078 crore followed by Airtel and Vodafone Idea

Is 5G an “Idea” whose time has come? Reliance, Airtel & Vodafone will enable a programmer in every Indian home?

Is 5G an “Idea” whose time has come? Reliance, Airtel & Vodafone will enable a programmer in every Indian home?
Is 5G an “Idea” whose time has come? Reliance, Airtel & Vodafone will enable a programmer in every Indian home?

5G Spectrum auction ends; Reliance Jio top bidder

India’s biggest ever auction of 5G spectrum received a record Rs.1.5 lakh crore of bids, with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio cornering nearly half of all the airwaves sold with Rs.88,078 crore bids. India’s first private telecom operator 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. Adani Group paid Rs.212 crores for 400 MHz for their airport, seaport, and power plant networks.

Spectrum and other natural resources were put for auction after the 2G scam was exposed in 2008. Supreme Court on petitions filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan canceled all spectrum and coal licenses and ordered for auction in 2012. From 2010 onwards, the entire spectrum auction fetched more than Rs. Six lakh crores including the figure arrived at Monday’s 5G auction.

Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said of the 72,098 MHz of spectrum offered across 10 bands, 51,236 MHz, or 71 percent, was sold. Adani Group’s spectrum will not be used for public telephony service. In all, bids worth Rs.1,50,173 crore were received, he said, adding the government will in the first year get Rs.13,365 crore. Barring the 1800 MHz band, for which Jio and Airtel engaged in fierce bidding, spectrum in all bands was sold at reserve (base) price, he noted.

The mop-up from the 5G spectrum, capable of offering ultra-high speed mobile internet connectivity, is almost double Rs.77,815 crore worth 4G airwaves sold last year and triple of Rs.50,968.37 crore garnered from a 3G auction in 2010. Reliance Jio was the top bidder, offering a cumulative bid of Rs.88,078 crore for 24,740 MHz of airwaves across five bands capable of offering speeds about 10 times faster than 4G, lag-free connectivity, and can enable billions of connected devices to share data in real-time.

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. Adani group bought spectrum in the 26 GHz band, which is suitable for setting up a private network for end-to-end communication, in six states — Gujarat, Mumbai, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Andhra Pradesh.

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. Vaishnaw said the 600 MHz band, offered for the first time, did not receive any interest. “Spectrum purchased is good enough to cover all circles in the country. Coming 2-3 years, we will have good 5G coverage,” he noted. He said the 26 GHz application will be for non-public networks, offering fixed wireless access. “It is a good alternative to fiber for last mile connectivity.”

The Minister said allocation will be made by August 10 and 5G services are expected to be rolled out from October. “With better availability of the spectrum, call quality is expected to improve,” he said. 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 – a band that had gone unsold in the previous two auctions (2016 and 2021). The 1800 MHz band and 900 MHz bands (where Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have footprint) got demand.

Unlike the previous two auctions where no interest was seen in the 700 MHz band, this time there was demand across 22 circles with 40 percent of the total available spectrum being acquired. In the auction conducted last year – that had lasted two days – Reliance Jio picked up spectrum worth Rs.57,122.65 crore, Bharti Airtel bid about Rs.18,699 crore, and Vodafone Idea bought spectrum worth Rs.1,993.40 crore.

The auction garnered bids worth Rs.1.45 lakh crore on the first day on July 26, with subsequent days seeing only marginal incremental demand in some circles. Akash M Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Jio Infocomm said the speed, scale, and societal impact of Jio’s 4G rollout are unmatched anywhere in the world. “Now, with a bigger ambition and stronger resolve, Jio is set to lead India’s march into the 5G era.”

Gopal Vittal, MD, and CEO, of Bharti Airtel said, “This spectrum acquisition at the latest auction has been a part of a deliberate strategy to buy the best spectrum assets at a substantially lower relative cost compared to our competition”. “We are confident that we will be able to deliver the best 5G experience in India in terms of coverage, speeds and latency,” he added.

In a statement, Vodafone Idea said it participated in the spectrum auction to strengthen its pan-India 4G footprint and embark on a 5G roll-out journey. “We have successfully acquired mid band 5G spectrum (3300 MHz band) in our 17 priority circles and mmWave 5G spectrum (26 GHz band) in 16 circles, which will enable us to offer a superior 5G experience to our customers as well as strengthen our enterprise offerings and provide new opportunities for business growth in the emerging 5G era.”

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  1. Telecom costs will increase retail & consumer & wholesale inflation !!
    Will BSNL will go dead or will be given to Reliance on a silver platter ?
    Army will use Reliance network for launching missile attacks on China / Pakistan to guide the missiles on GPS location !!
    Do not know how it improve life for common man who is tired of paying bills after bills sick of browsing media / Twitter / FAcebook sites.


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