Fifth round of 5G spectrum bidding underway

The second day of bidding for fifth-generation (5G) airwaves, India-largest spectrum deal begins on Wednesday. After witnessing an overwhelming response from big firms, the bid crossed Rs 1.45 lakh crores and broke the 2015 record.

The fifth round of bidding is currently underway. Even the 700 MHz band, which had not seen any takers in the 2016 and 2021 auctions received bids this time. The 700 MHz band received Rs 39,270 crore worth of provisional bids on Tuesday. No bids were received for 800 MHz and 2,300 MHz bands.

Firms run by tycoons Mukesh Ambani, Sunil Bharti Mittal and Gautam Adani as well as

had put in bids. In 2021, Reliance Jio had picked up spectrum worth Rs 57,122.65 crore,

bid about Rs 18,699 crore, and Vodafone Idea bought spectrum worth Rs 1,993.40 crore.

The day-two of the bidding process began at 10 AM and it is widely expected to conclude much ahead of the scheduled closing time of 6 PM.

India’s first auction of 5G spectrum, that would power ultra-high data speeds, is currently on. A total 72 GHz (gigahertz) of radiowaves worth at least Rs 4.3 lakh crore is up for bidding across multiple bands.

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.

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), 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 will allocate the spectrum in record time and 5G services are expected to be rolled out by September.

(with inputs from PTI)

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Harry Byrne

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