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Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said that the 5G spectrum auction on Wednesday sees saw bids worth 1.49 lakh crore. The telecom minister also said that the 9th round of bidding is underway. Day 2 of the 5G spectrum auction had seen bids of 1.45 lakh crore. Tycoons Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio, and Sunil Bharti Mittal's Bharti Airtel were among the firms that participated in the e-auction to buy fifth-generation (5G) airwaves.

Meanwhile, the 5G spectrum auction has been extended to Day 3. Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the auction will continue on Thursday.

The 5G spectrum auction also marked the first time Adani and Ambani-led firms are vying for the same asset, making it a keenly watched contest. Analysts have said that Reliance Jio may be the most aggressive of those in the race.

The government is targeting to allocate the spectrum by mid-August and 5G services are expected to start rolling out by September-October 2022.

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.

Also Read | 5G spectrum auction starts today: DoT expects to generate 1,00,000 crore

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), fifth generation or 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.

The government placed 72 gigahertz of airwaves on the block for a 20-year tenure in various frequency bands ranging from 600 megahertz to 26 gigahertz. 

The auction was held for spectrum in various low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz), mid (3,300 MHz) and high (26 GHz) frequency bands. 

Winners have to make payments in 20 equal annual installments to be paid in advance at the beginning of each year, a relaxation that is expected to significantly ease cash flow requirements and lower the cost of doing business in this sector.

(With Agency Inputs)

 

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