Spectrum auction Industry

Spectrum auction | Bids worth ₹1.45 lakh crore placed on Day 1

Photo used for representational purpose only. File

Photo used for representational purpose only. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The government on Tuesday received record bids worth ₹1.45 lakh crore on the first day of the largest-ever auction for telecom airwaves, surpassing the expectations of bids worth ₹80,000 crore-₹90,000 crore from the entire auction.

The auctions wherein a total of 72,097.85 MHz (or 72 Ghz) of spectrum worth about ₹4.3 lakh crore has been put on sale, saw “active” participation from all the four private players — Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Adani Data Network.

Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw told reporters that “₹1.45 lakh crore is a very important number because this shows that the industry now is moving towards positive territory.”

“Now the industry is getting converted into a sunrise industry. It will now focus on investments, focus on creating more employment, providing better quality of service,” he said.

“This is a record revenue collection. The previous record was ₹1.09 lakh crore [in 2015 auctions]. So, this is a very encouraging response. This much response for 5G clearly shows that the industry has turned from its difficult times which were caused by lots and lots of litigation and other things.”

The four rounds of bidding that took place between 10 a.m. and 6 pm on Tuesday also saw “good” demand for spectrum in the prestigious 700 MHz band that had remained unsold in the two previous auctions held in 2016 and 2021, because of higher price. Airwaves in the mid (3,300 MHz) and high (26 GHz) frequency bands, which are expected to be utilised by telecom service providers to roll out 5G services, also attracted strong bids.

The bidding will continue on Wednesday.

The Minister said the government would work on allocating the spectrum in record time and had set a target of August 15 for the same. He added that 5G services were expected to begin in the county by September or October.

He said that by the end of this year, people in multiple cities in the country would be able to experience 5G services.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2022 12:20:25 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/indias-biggest-spectrum-auction-begins-5g-airwaves-worth-43-lakh-crore-on-offer/article65684282.ece