5G auction in India ends with govt raising over Rs 1.5 lakh crore: who was the top performer?

Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said 5G services will be launched in India by October.

Highlights
  • The 5G auction in India ended with 51,236 MHz of the 5G spectrum out of 72,098 MHz sold.
  • Reliance Jio has acquired 24,740 MHz of 5G spectrum worth Rs 88,078 crore.
  • Bharti Airtel purchased 19,867 MHz of 5G spectrum worth Rs 43,084 crore.

After one long week with 40 rounds of a bidding war between telecom giants, the 5G auction in India has ended. Out of 72,098 MHz spectrum across 10 bands, 51,236 MHz (71 percent) of the 5G spectrum was sold during the auction. Leading the charts, Reliance Jio acquired 24,740 MHz of 5G spectrum worth Rs 88,078 crore, followed by Bharti Airtel with 19,867 MHz worth Rs 43,084 crore, and Vodafone Idea with 6,228 MHz worth Rs 18,784 crore. Newcomer Adani Data Networks, who had earlier said they intend setting up a private 5G network, bagged 400 MHz worth Rs 212 crore. The government received a total of record Rs 1,50,173 crore of bids in the auction.

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The government had put on offer spectrum in 10 bands on the table, but most bidding was seen in the 3,300 Mhz and 26Ghz bands, and huge demand in the 700 Mhz band. The auction witnessed no bids in the 600 Hz, 800 Mhz, and 2,300 MHz bands. Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stated (via), “The government in the first year will get a Rs 13,365 crore payment for the spectrum. The 5G services could be launched by October.”

Reliance Jio bought 5G spectrum across several bands, including the most desired 700 MHz band that has the potential of 6-10 km of signal range, forming a good base for 5G in all 22 circles in India, as a single tower can cover more area if 700 Mhz is used. To effectively compete with Jio on pan-India 5G coverage, Bharti Airtel purchased 5G spectrum in the 3.3-3.67 GHz and 26 GHz bands and made selective transactions in the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz frequencies.

5G auction in India

Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea bought the mid-band 5G spectrum 3300 MHz band for 17 circles and 26 GHz band in 16 circles. Adani group bought spectrum in the 26 GHz band for setting up a private telecom network.