5G rollout in India has been highly anticipated for the past one year. While the telecom companies have been running trials, developing the ecosystem and laying out rollout plans for the next phase of internet connectivity, they are restricted by the government and concerned authorities to give them a green light and the necessary hardware in the form of spectrum bands which can be acquired by going through an auction. As things have developed significantly over the past couple of months, the 5G rollout may not be far off as the spectrum auction is just around the corner. Here’s a quick look at the 5G spectrum auction date in India, frequency bands for bidding, price, and more.
What is 5G spectrum auction?
In order for companies and businesses to bring the next generation of internet technology, they’ll have to go through a process to gain the rights over bands of the spectrum. For this, the government will hold an auction where all 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.
5G spectrum auction date in India
The 5G spectrum auction in India will officially kick off on July 26th and will last until every bid over the spectrum bands has been made by the participants.
5G spectrum auction price, validity, and frequency bands
The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has approved a total of 72 GHz spectrum to be put on auction that is valued at a base price of Rs 4.3 lakh crore. As per the government, the rights to the spectrum acquired by the participants will last for the next 20 years.
That said, the frequency bands to go under the hammer in the auction range from low (600 Mhz, 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz, 2300 Mhz, 2500 Mhz) and mid (3.3-3.67 Ghz) to high (26 Ghz). Furthermore, the government has confirmed that the winning bidders do not have any compulsion to pay upfront and can rather make the payments in 20 equal monthly installments over the course of time.
5G spectrum auction participants
Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has approved as many as four companies, namely Jio, Airtel, Vi, and Adani Group, for the first-ever 5G spectrum auction in India. The participants have also announced the earnest money for the same, which are as follows:
The current market leader in the telecom sector, Reliance Jio is all set for the upcoming 5G spectrum auction by running 5G connectivity tests in different parts of the country and rigorously building technologies behind the scenes. That said, the telecom player has deposited a total of Rs 14,000 crore as earnest money deposit (EMD) which is a form of token money given to the government before the actual auction takes place.
Since the arrival of Jio when other telecom players were shutting down left and right, Airtel till this day has stood up catering to its subscribers. The telco has successfully been named the second participant in the 5G spectrum auction and therefore has deposited a total sum of Rs 5,500 crore in the form of earnest money deposit (EMD).
Vodafone Idea Limited
The third telco player to take part in the upcoming 5G spectrum auction is Vodafone Idea Limited, which isn’t seeking to spend too much on spectrum bands at the moment and therefore has submitted Rs 2,200 as earnest money deposit (EMD). Vi will initially prioritize building 5G airwaves in limited quantities that too in key areas
Adani Data Networks
The fourth and final participant in the 5G spectrum auction is Adani Data Networks, which is the subsidiary of Adani Group dealing in building data centres across the country. When the news broke out that Adani Group is seeking a place in the 5G auctions, many speculated the company is entering into the commercial telecom sector and will compete with the likes of Jio, Airtel and Vi. Turns out that Adani Group wants 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 crore as earnest money deposited (EMD).
5G rollout schedule in India
According to IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the 5G rollout will begin in August-September where 20 to 25 cities will get to experience the next-gen internet connectivity initially. This number has increased from 13 cities as notified earlier by the government which included Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune, Chennai, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Chandigarh.
Telecom players such as Jio, Airtel and Vi have been demonstrating 5G speeds in various parts of the country as part of their trial procedures. The highest ever 5G download speed recorded till now is 5.92 Gbps by Vi which is substantially faster than Airtel’s 3 Gbps and Jio’s 1 Gbps top speeds. However, in real-life scenarios, this number can come down significantly as more people confined in a particular area use 5G simultaneously.
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