5G Spectrum Auction Kicks Off Today; Telecom Giants Vie for Frequencies Worth Rs 96,000 Crore

5G spectrum auction begins today as telecom giants place bids to secure frequencies valued over Rs 96,000 crore
5G spectrum
5G spectrum

The latest 5G spectrum auction begins today, with telecom giants like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel vying to place their bids for frequencies valued over Rs 96,000 crore.

Before this, last year marked the first instance where radio frequencies for 5G services were included (in the spectrum auction) since the online bidding process for the sale of radiowaves began in 2010.

"To augment existing telecom services and maintain continuity of services, the government will hold the spectrum auction on Tuesday, 25 June 2024. This is in line with the government's commitment to facilitate affordable, state-of-art high-quality telecom services to all the citizens," as per an official statement by the government.

On March 8, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) issued a notice inviting applications (NIA) to initiate the spectrum auction.

"The Ministry of Communications announced that the following spectrum bands will go up for bidding in the upcoming auction - 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz. The total quantum of spectrum being auctioned is 10,522.35 MHz in various bands valuing Rs 96,238.45 crores at reserve prices," the statement said.

The 3300 Mhz band and 26 Mhz band are seen as suitable bands for 5G services.

Reliance Jio has deposited the highest earnest money of Rs 3,000 crore for the spectrum auction, which provides the company with the potential to bid for maximum radio waves.

According to pre-qualified bidder details released by the Department of Telecommunications, Bharti Airtel has submitted the earnest money deposit (EMD) of Rs 1,050 crore and Vodafone Idea (VIL) of Rs 300 crore.

Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea (VIL) is likely to focus on strategic acquisitions, particularly in the 26 GHz band, to bring down its spectrum usage charge.

(With Inputs From PTI)

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