Bidding in the 24
th round on Day 5 of India’s first 5G spectrum auction is underway Saturday morning, with the government already having received committed bids worth to Rs 1,49,855 crore at the end of Day 4.
Day four was driven entirely by the fight for the 1800 MHz spectrum in UP (East) that ensured the action would move into day five. The fourth day had seen seven rounds of bidding, with the per unit price of the 1800 MHz band increasing by 49% over its base price, to Rs135.6 crore for UP (East). The price has jumped as
fought with larger rival Reliance Jio to protect its market share in India’s most populous circle with some of its 900 MHz airwaves expiring in 2024, said industry executives.
Telcos outflows for the 1800 MHz band pan-India have already surged almost five times to Rs10,057 crore from the base price of Rs 2116 crore.
Telecom market leader Jio’s estimated spends after Day 4 of the ongoing spectrum sale is reckoned at upwards of Rs 84,000 crore. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea’s estimated spectrum spends after Day 4 too were estimated at around Rs 46,200 crore and Rs 18,500 crore respectively after a continuing battle for 1800 MHz in the key UP (East) circle.
With the action solely focussed on UP (East), the other bands have seen no change over the last two days in overall outflows. Telcos have so far spent Rs 80,590 crore on C band (3.5 GHz); Rs 14,709 crore on the high-band (26 GHz); Rs 3,180 crore on the 2100 MHz and Rs 39,270 crore on the 700 MHz band.
The pricey but super-efficient 700 MHz band saw bidding for the first time in this auction, with Jio said to have bought 10 MHz of the airwaves across India, spending Rs39,270 crore.
In this year’s auction, the government offered a shade over 72 GHz of airwaves for 20 years across 10 5G bands worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore at reserve prices. So far, over 40% of the spectrum on sale has been bid for.
On offer are low-band airwaves (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz), mid band or C-band (3.3-3.67 GHz), and high band (26 GHz).