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Four companies, including Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, are scheduled to bid for the 72 GHz of radiowaves that are up for grabs in the 5G spectrum auction, which will start on July 26. On Tuesday, the bidding will begin at 10 am and continue until 6 pm. According to Department of Telecom (DoT) sources, the length of the auction will depend on the actual demand for radiowaves and the tactics used by different bidders.

Analysts predict that Jio will spend the most money, followed by Bharti Airtel, with modest involvement from Vodafone Idea and Adani Group. Because there is a surplus of spectrum available and there are only four competitors in the race, market observers do not expect a heated or aggressive bidding war.

Also Read: Saankhya to launch 5G broadcast tech for mobiles in 2023

While rival Adani group recently made a meagre 100 crore Earnest Money Deposit (EMD), Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio has made an EMD of 14,000 crore. The amount of airwaves that a corporation can bid for in the auction is reflected in EMD.

The DoT anticipates that the 5G auctions will generate between 70,000 and 1,000,000 crore, ushering in modern products and business models while enabling ultra-high speeds that are around 10 times quicker than 4G.

The 5G auctions will feature participation from Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and a division of Gautam Adani's Adani Enterprises, a multibillion dollar company. The market anticipates that spectrum will sell for close to the reserve price and that the bidding will last two days. The value of 72 GHz of radiowaves at the reserve pricing for the various bands would be Rs. 4.3 lakh crore.

Also Read: What 5G means for you, India and telcos

Bidding for spectrum will take place in a variety of low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), mid (3300 MHz), and high (26 GHz) frequency bands.

"Operators will bid for 5G networks, reducing SUC (Spectrum Usage Charges) rates and enhancing existing spectrum bands, resulting in demand mainly led by 3.3 GHz/26GHz spectrum bands," brokerage firm Jefferies said in a note last week.

Also Read: Adani 5G bid sparks debate over direct spectrum award

Adani Group might be trying to purchase the bare minimum amount of spectrum required to establish a private network, while EMD suggests that Jio may be bidding very strongly in the next auctions. The combined EMD of the four applicants vying for 5G radiowaves this time totals 21,800 crore, which is a significant increase over the 13,475 crore placed in the 2021 auction when there were only three competitors.

(With PTI inputs)

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