The first day of India’s biggest spectrum auction for 72 GHz (gigahertz) of 5G airwaves worth ₹ 4.3 lakh crore ended with four rounds of auction.
India’s largest ever auction of spectrum used to carry mobile signals saw bids of ₹ 1.45 lakh crore for 5G airwaves from groups run by tycoons Mukesh Ambani, Sunil Bharti Mittal and Gautam Adani on the first day on Tuesday.
All four applicants — Ambani’s Reliance Jio, Mittal’s Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and an Adani group firm “actively” participated in the auction of the 5G spectrum, that 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.
Four auction rounds were completed, with the bid amount exceeding ₹ 1.45 lakh crore on the first day of bidding, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.
Round five of the auction will begin tomorrow. Mr Vaishnaw said he hopes to complete spectrum allocation by August 15; 5G services are expected in many cities by 2022-end, Mr Vaishnaw said.
The 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands attracted strong bids – the mid and high-end bands seeing keen interest. Bids were also received for the 700 MHz band, the Minister told reporters. He described the participation of four bidders as ‘strong’.
The auction saw healthy participation; he said adding the response shows that the industry has turned from its difficult times.
The government, he said, will allocate the spectrum in record time, and 5G services are expected to start rolling out by September. The target is to allocate the spectrum by August 14, the Telecom Minister said.
The number of days the auction ultimately stretches to will depend on the demand for radiowaves and the strategy of individual bidders. Although, the broad industry consensus is that it may last up to two days.
How Fast Is 5G? Picture this; a 5 GB movie can be downloaded in 35 seconds using 5G internet as against 40 minutes in 4G; 2 hours in 3G; and 2.8 days in 2G, according to Bipartisan Policy Center.
The auction is being held for spectrum in various low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), mid (3300 MHz) and high (26 GHz) frequency bands.