5G Spectrum auction begins in India: Here’s everything you need to know about it

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5G enabled smartphones have already become a rage in the Indian market. The reason behind this is that the country is soon expected to get its own 5G rollout, leading to better and faster connectivity for consumers. The budding for the 5G Spectrum is all set to begin in the country and here’s all that you should know about it if you are interested in the upcoming 5G technology.

When will the 5G Spectrum Auction begin in India?

The bidding for the 5G spectrum will begin on 26th July (today) at 10 am and will continue till 6 PM. According to the Department of Telecom sources, the length of the auction will depend on the cultural demand for radiowaves and the tactics used by different bidders. An aggressive bidding war is expected among all the competitors. The auction is expected to be concluded by July end.

5G Spectrum Auction Live Updates

Day 1 (26 July)- The first day saw bids of Rs. 1.45 lakh crore for 5G airwaves from Jio, Airtel, Vi, and Adani. 4 auction rounds were completed with the bid amount exceeding Rs. 1.45 lakh crore. Round 5 will begin today. Mr. Vaishnaw said he hoped to complete the spectrum allocation by August 15.

The 3300MHz and 26GHz bands attracted strong bids. 700MHz also received bids. The Government aims to allocate spectrum in record time so that 5G services start rolling by September. The number of days the auction will continue depends on the demand for radiowaves and the strategy of individual bidders.

Day 2 (27 July)- According to ICICI Securities, Reliance Jio has likely increased the bid quantity to 130Mhz in the 300MHz spectrum band during day 2 in 8 circles. Airtel will own airwaves below 3400MHz frequency where the ecosystem is relatively weak. On day 2, ICICI Securities said that there was aggressive bidding for the airwaves in the 1800MHz band.

In the UP circle, the analyst said that the reserve price of the 1800MHz band went up by 7.7%. There was also aggressive bidding for 2100MHz band airwaves. For the 2100MHz band, the spectrum was bid in 4 circles, Haryana, Kerala, WB, and Bihar. Vi may have bought more spectrum in the 26GHz taking its total holdings to 800MHz.

Day 3 (28 July)- 16 rounds of bidding completed. The heaviest bids were on Day 1 while days 2 and 3 saw slower bids. After 3 days of bidding, the telecom companies and Adani Group have spent Rs. 1,49,623 crores. Jio has bid for the most spectrum in the spectrum auction 2022. Jio has purchased 700MHz airwaves in 10MHz quantity PAN India. Vi has spent Rs. 18,400 crores and its strategy is going along the lines of focusing on the spectrum for its priority circles only.

Which companies will be bidding for the 5G Spectrum?

There are 4 major players in the race- Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Adani Group. The highest bids are expected from Jio followed by the other 3 companies. Adani group has recently made a meagre of 100 crores Earnest Money Deposit, while Jio has made an EMD of Rs. 14,000 crores. The amount of airwaves that a corporation can bid for is reflected in its EMD.

All 4 players have submitted a combined Rs. 21,400 crores in EMD. While Jio has submitted an EMD of Rs. 14,000 crores, Bharti Airtel has put in Rs.5500 crores. Vodafone-Idea has submitted Rs. 2200 crores indicating that it will buy the airwaves in its priority markets. Adani Group aims to acquire the 5G spectrum to provide private network solutions in airports, logistics, power generation, transmission, and other sectors, for which it has cashed in an amount of Rs. 100 crores as EMD. To recap, in the 2021 4G Spectrum auctions, Jio used 77.9% of their EMD while Airtel used 87.7%.

What is the 5G Spectrum Auction?

To bring a new generation of internet technology, the companies will have to go through an auction to gain the rights over the bands of spectrum. To make sure this process goes smoothly, the Government of India will hold an auction where the registered participants will bid for the spectrums required in their technologies and acquire the rights to use them to offer services to the masses such as commercial telecom calling and 5G internet.

Spectrum in telecommunication is the space in which the radio frequency bands operate. It is managed by the government and loaned to telecom operators such as Airtel, Jio, and Vi to provide 2G, 4G, and other wireless services.

Which 5G bands will be up for auction?

The Department of Telecom has announced that the bidding will take place for a variety of low (600MHz, 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz), mid (3300MHz), and high (26GHz) frequency bands.

What will be the price of these 5G Bands in the auction?

The DoT has approved a total of 72GHz spectrum to be put on auction that is valued at a base price of Rs. 4.3 lakh crore. The DoT expected that the 5G auctions will generate between Rs. 70,000 and Rs. 1,00,000 crores ushering in modern products, and business models while enabling ultra-high speeds that are around 10 times quicker than 4G. The mega bid is likely to be around Rs. 1.5 lakh crore.

The government has also confirmed that the winning bidders do not have any compulsion to make upfront payments and can make them in 20 equal monthly instalments.

When will 5G rollout in India?

The 5G rollout is expected to happen by August-September in India. The rollout will happen in phases and be limited to metros and larger cities initially. This is because there are limited 5G smartphone users in India at the moment. IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has confirmed that the 5G rollout will begin in August-September where 20-25 cities will get to experience the next-gen internet connectivity initially. The cities include Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Chandigarh.

What will be internet speed that 5G will offer?

Telecom players have been showcasing 5G speeds in various parts of the country as a part of their trial procedures. The highest ever 5G download speed recorded has been 5.92Gbps by Vi which is faster than Airtel’s 3 Gbps and Jio’s 1 Gbps top speeds. In real life scenario, the numbers will come down significantly as more and more people will use the network simultaneously.

How much will Indian users pay for 5G?

Consumers will initially have to pay a higher price for 5G speeds as compared to 4G. A 10-20% premium cost could be on the cards as 5G will initially come to urban markets only.

How much do 5G smartphones cost in India?

The price of 5G phones is not very high in India. In the last year, it has come down significantly. Samsung recently launched Galaxy M13 5G priced at Rs. 13,999. There are 5G smartphones available under Rs. 20,000 from brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, and Vivo.

Will 4G phones be compatible with 5G networks?

No, the technology used in 4G phones is not compatible with the 5G network. This is because 5G uses a wave-based frequency that is the fastest in the wireless mobile communication industry.

Can telecom companies surrender spectrum after buying it?

The telecom companies are allowed to surrender the spectrum that will be auctioned after a minimum period of 10 years from the date of acquisition. The current spectrum is being auctioned for 20 years.

Shivangi AgarwalShivangi Agarwal

Shivangi is an honours graduate in English from Delhi University with a passion for reading and writing. Always keen to know more about the latest gadgets, when she is not reading about tech, she loves listening to Hindi music and grooving to the latest Hindi beats.

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