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5G auction in India today: Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel expected to be top bidders

By Ronil Thakkar

5G auction in India

Reliance Jio, the market leader in telecom, is anticipated to be the most active competitor, followed by Bharti Airtel. Experts predict(via) that struggling Vodafone Idea will bid for a small number of airwaves, likely in its 17 priority markets. Further, Adani would probably purchase a small spectrum for its captive network. The auction offers:

  • low-band airwaves of 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, and 2500 MHz.
  • mid-band (C-band) of 3.3 GHz to 3.67 GHz
  • high-band of 26 GHz. 

The government has also removed the spectrum utilisation charges (SUC) from the forthcoming auctions and lowered payment terms to encourage bidding. Given that there are just two major bidders (Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel) and the limited interest of Adani Group, industry executives and analysts predict that the government will only make about Rs 4.3 lakh crore if all of the spectra are auctioned at reserve rates.

Jefferies, an American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company, in a report, said: “We expect spectrum to be sold near reserve prices and estimate demand to range between USD 13-20 billion (Approx. Rs 1.5 lakh crore) versus USD 54 billion (Approx. Rs 4.3 lakh crore) worth of spectrum being sold.”

Jio is expected to spend the most (between Rs 48,000 and Rs 87,800 crore), followed by Bharti (between Rs 40,000 and Rs 48,000 crore), and only minimal investments from Vodafone Idea and Adani Group.

Source: 91 Mobiles.