Stage set for 5G auction, Jio, Airtel lead race

The four big players in the race - Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Adani group - having submitted a combined Rs 21,400 core in earnest money deposit (EMD), are ready with their war chests and strategies for the mega bid
Representative Image
Representative Image

NEW DELHI: With the mega 5G spectrum auction (worth Rs 1.9 lakh cr) beginning from Tuesday amid the tussle over captive private 5G networks, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are set to boost their market share as India prepares for a 5G era.

The four big players in the race - Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Adani group - having submitted a combined Rs 21,400 core in earnest money deposit (EMD), are ready with their war chests and strategies for the mega bid, that is likely to be around Rs 1.5 lakh crore if the last two auctions are kept in mind.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has submitted an EMD of Rs 14,000 crore while Bharti Airtel has put in Rs 5,500 crore.

In the 2021 auctions for 4G spectrum, Reliance Jio used 77.9 per cent of their earnest money deposit while Airtel used 87.7 per cent.

The 5G era will open 10 times faster than 4G and 30 times faster than 3G, allowing millions to have an experience never seen before.

The 5G auction - entailing 72 GHz of the spectrum - will conclude by July-end and the roll-out is expected by September this year.

The Department of Telecom has released a notice inviting applications (NIA) for the auction of spectrum in 600, 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300 MHz and 26GHz bands.

The NIA provides explicit clarity on the subject of Captive Non-Public Networks (CNPN).

The telcos are allowed to surrender spectrum that will be auctioned after a minimum period of 10 years from the date of acquisition.

Last month, in a big relief to telecom companies, the DoT scrapped the 3 per cent floor rate on spectrum usage charge (SUC).

5G in India will empower tech companies, enterprises and ecosystem players to build private networks and bring next-generation digital transformation which is critical for the country to achieve the goal of becoming a $1 trillion digital economy, as per industry leaders and experts.

With the 5G auctions, India is one step closer to realising a 5G-led future, with a strong base of 5G-capable devices already in place.

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