The 5G Spectrum Auction has concluded after seven days of bidding wars. A total of Rs. 1,50,173 crore worth of airwaves have been auctioned, making this the biggest sale of airwaves in India.
Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vi and Adani Data Networks were the bidders in the fray for 5G Spectrum. Out of the total 72,098MHz of the spectrum available on auction, 51,236MHz has been sold to the bidders in the auction, Union Minister for Department of Telecom Ashwini Vaishnaw announced.
Telecom industry responds to PM @narendramodi Ji’s telecom reforms: 5G spectrum auction grosses Rs. 1,50,173 Crore. pic.twitter.com/3lLMKbPzubAugust 1, 2022
The Telecom minister also mentioned that the spectrum allocation will be completed by August 10. He also mentioned that the 5G services are expected to be rolled out from October of this year.
5G Spectrum Auction Results: The bidders
Reliance Jio emerged as the clear winner in terms of the amount spent on the 5G spectrum, with a total bid amount of Rs. 88,078 crore. It bagged almost half of the spectrum available at the auction.
Reliance Jio is the only bidder to acquire 700MHz in all 22 circles. It has acquired spectrum in 700MHz, 800MHz, 1800MHz, 3300MHz, and 26GHz bands.
The company has claimed in a statement released that this will make it "the only operator providing True 5G services across India. It also had this to say in the statement, " Jio has acquired a unique combination of low-band, mid-band and mmWave spectrum, which coupled with our deep fibre network and indigenous technology platforms, will enable us to provide 5G Everywhere and 5G For All (consumers and enterprises)"
Bharti Airtel was the second biggest bigger in the 5G spectrum auction, with a total bid amount of Rs. 43,084 crores. Airtel has acquired 19867.8 MHz spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz frequency bands.
In the media statement put out by the company, it had stated that the company plans to start 5G services in every part of the country, and will start from key cities. And the company expect its customer base to rapidly adopt the 5G service soon.
Gopal Vittal, M.D. and CEO of Bharti Airtel has this to say in the media statement: "Airtel is delighted with the results of the 5G auction. 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."
Vi (Vodafone Idea)
Vi has acquired spectrum in the 3300MHz and 26GHz 5G bands, with bids amounting to Rs. 18,799 crores. The bid seems much lower than that of Jio and Airtel.
The company has acquired spectrum in the 3300MHz band for 17 circles, and mmWave 5G spectrum (26Ghz band) in 16 circles.
Adani Data Networks
Adani Data Networks, a subsidiary of Adani group has now acquired 5G spectrum in the 400MHz band, with a bid amount totalling Rs. 212 crores. The company has acquired spectrum in these regions: Gujarat, Mumbai, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
It has been confirmed officially by the company that it will only focus on B2B 5G services. That means the company will be offering its 5G data services to business customers, and it will not be offering its 5G data services to retail consumers.
Next: Let us wait for the 5G rollout
5G phones have been launching back and forth in India, but the infrastructure for these phones has been non-existent. Now that the 5G spectrum auction is over, we have an official expected date for the 5G rollout in India. The Union minister has given an ETA of October. We shall wait for October to see if indeed the telecom companies will start the 5G services in India.
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Abhijith specialises in phones, computing and everything Tech at Techradar. He is based out of Kerala. He has been writing about Tech since 2013, on his own blog. He also used to host a YouTube channel about phones.