5G spectrum auction concludes, Reliance Jio biggest acquirer
- About 71% of the total 5G spectrum has been sold in the latest auction
- Jio is the largest acquirer of the 5G spectrum, worth over Rs 88,000 crore
- Jio is the only bidder to have acquired 700 MHz in all 22 circles
The 5G spectrum auction has concluded successfully with a total bid amount of Rs 150,173 crore on Monday. A total of 51,236 MHz of the spectrum has been sold, out of the 72,098 MHz on offer, telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said addressing the media after the conclusion of the auction.
About 71% of the total 5G spectrum has been sold in the latest auction, the minister added. “We understand that the spectrum purchased is good enough to cover all the circles in the country. In 2-3 years, (there would be) very good coverage for 5G (sic),” Ashwini Vaishnaw said.
Reliance Jio, the telecom unit of Reliance Industries is the largest acquirer of the 5G spectrum, worth over Rs 88,000 crore. Jio has bought 24,740 MHz of 5G spectrum, Airtel has 19,867 MHz spectrum in various bands, the minister added.
Jio is the only bidder to have acquired 700 MHz in all 22 circles. The 700 Mhz has a range from 5 to 10 km, which offers a telecom firm operate a solid base coverage.
Jio bought 24,740 Mhz (700, 800, 1800, 3300, 26GHz) of the spectrum put on auction, at a payable amount of Rs 88,078 crore, the telecom minister said.
India’s second-largest telco, Bharti Airtel acquired 19,867 MHz (700, 800, 1800, 3300, 26GHz), which is worth Rs 43,084 crore. Vodafone Idea acquired 6,228 MHz of spectrum, which costs Rs 18,784 crore.
New entrant Adani Group bought a 400 MHz spectrum in the 26 GHz band, worth Rs 212 crore.
The bidders have the option to make the payment in 20 equal installments over the next 20 years (which is also the duration of the right to use spectrum acquired in the auction). The first installment in case everyone goes for the option would amount to Rs 13,365 crore.
The amount raised is far higher than what the government had estimated and the highest compared to the seven auctions since 2010, with Rs 113,932 crore in 2015 being the previous highest, according to a Business Standard report.
The spectrum range on auction was also a record high, with the government aiming to sell all 72 GHz at a base price of Rs 4.3 trillion, with 2,354.55 Mhz in 2016 being the previous highest.