NEW DELHI: Fierce bidding is expected in the 5G auction, to be taken place on July 26, as three incumbent telecom operators -- Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Bharti Airtel -- along with surprise entrant Gautam Adani’s Adani Enterprises will vie for spectrum.
According to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), a total of 72 gigahertz (GHz) of spectrum, worth Rs 4.3 trillion and with a validity period of 20 years will go on sale during the auction. Analysts believe the entry of Adani Group is going to make the auction fierce.
As per the 5G auction modalities, airwaves across Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and High (26 GHz) frequency bands will be put up for bidding.
Experts believe the mid and high band spectrum will be utilised by the telecom service providers to roll out 5G services. India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio has made a Rs 14,000-crore earnest money deposit (EMD), Bharti Airtel has put in Rs 5,500 crore and debt-laden Vodafone Idea has paid Rs 2,200 crore. Interestingly, cash-rich Gautam Adani-led Adani Data Network put in only Rs 100 crore. The EMD indicates the maximum quantity of airwaves a company can bid for in the auction, usually companies can bid 8-10x of the EMD amount.
From a consumer point of view, 5G will be 10 times faster than 4G and 30 times faster than 3G, and it will allow a greater number of devices to be connected to a faster mobile network in a smaller area without any loss of speed. Meanwhile, the telecom regulator Trai said it has initiated pilot testing of 5G networks in four areas.