India's first 5G spectrum auction received better-than-expected response from players on the second day as bids worth Rs 1.49 lakh crore (precisely Rs 1,49,454 crore), were garnered after the ninth round on the second day, said Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, the union minister added that the auction will continue and will take place tomorrow as well. Till now, nine rounds of bidding have been concluded.
Major telcos led by billionaires Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio, Sunil Bharti Mittal's Bharti Airtel, and Gautam Adani's flagship Adani Enterprises, as well as Vodafone Idea, are participating in the bids to buy fifth-generation (5G) airwaves.
On Tuesday, Vaishnaw had said the response on the first day exceeded all expectations with Rs 1.45 lakh crore bids received.
Notably, even the 700 MHz band, which had not seen any takers in the 2016 and 2021 auctions, received bids this time.
The government will allocate the spectrum in record time and 5G services are expected to be rolled out by September.
“The 2022 spectrum auction for 5G roll out has been by far the best auction in the past few years. With more than 75% of Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) amount having been utilized on Day 1. Day 2 was expected to focus on select participation on 26Ghz and 3.5 Ghz. 700 Mhz has been preferred by operators to drive focus on indoor use cases, broadcasting use cases and relatively quicker roll outs with fewer number towers required," said Purushothaman KG, Partner and Head, Digital Solutions & Telecommunications Industry Leader, KPMG in India.
India's first auction of the 5G spectrum, which would power ultra-high data speeds, is currently on. A total of 72 GHz (gigahertz) of radiowaves worth at least Rs 4.3 lakh crore is up for bidding across multiple bands.
The 5G spectrum offers ultra-high speeds (about 10 times faster than 4G), lag-free connectivity, and can enable billions of connected devices to share data in real-time.
In addition to powering ultra-low latency connections, which allow downloading full-length high-quality video or movie to a mobile device in a matter of seconds (even in crowded areas), 5G would enable solutions such as e-health, connected vehicles, more immersive augmented reality, and metaverse experiences, life-saving use cases, and advanced mobile cloud gaming among others.
In the auction conducted last year - that had lasted two days - Reliance Jio picked up spectrum worth Rs 57,122.65 crore, Bharti Airtel about Rs 18,699 crore, and Vodafone Idea worth Rs 1,993.40 crore.
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