Day 4 of 5G Spectrum Auction 2022 ended with seven clock rounds taking the total clock rounds to 23. We have also seen a demand for 1800 MHz in a few circles that pushed the auction further. Let’s dive into the finer details of the 1800 MHz Band in this story and what made telcos bid on airwaves in this band.
1800 MHz Band:
The 1800 MHz band is a paired spectrum, and FDD is implemented on it where downlink and uplink transmissions are sent on separate frequencies. We have already discussed what is paired spectrum, and you can refer to the earlier story. The size of the spectrum block put to auction in this band is 0.2 MHz.
1800 MHz Spectrum in the Revival Package for BSNL:
As a part of the revival package, BSNL will also be allotted Spectrum in the 1800 MHz band administratively for provisioning high-speed data using their vast network, including in rural areas.
The 1800 MHz is considered an optimum band for EDGE data services during the 2G era. However, after the transition to 4G/LTE services, this band is helpful for the coverage and capacity of the telcos.
The 1800 MHz Band Spectrum Holdings of Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea:
Highest Holdings of an Individual Telco Across Circles in 1800 MHz:
Airtel: Among all the circles of airtel, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, category A circle holds the highest spectrum of 21.4MHz in the 1800 MHz band.
Jio: Among all the circles of Jio, West Bengal, Category B circle, holds the highest spectrum of 10.6 MHz in the 1800 MHz band.
Vodafone Idea: Among all the circles of Vodafone Idea, North East, Category C circle, holds the highest spectrum of 25.8 MHz in the 1800 MHz band.
Let’s look at a few circles and compare the spectrum holdings of Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea on the 1800 MHz band.
1. Andhra Pradesh: Vodafone Idea holds the least quantum of the spectrum, i.e., 6.6 MHz, among the three telcos.
2. Gujarat: Both Airtel and Jio hold the least quantum of the spectrum with 10 MHz each in this circle.
3. Himachal Pradesh: Jio holds the least quantum of the spectrum with 10.4 MHz among the three telcos.
4. Kolkata: Both Airtel and Jio hold the least quantum of the spectrum with 10 MHz each in this circle.
5/6/7/8. Madhya Pradesh/Maharashtra & Goa/Mumbai/Odisha: Jio holds the least quantum of the spectrum with 10MHz each in these circles among the three telcos.
9. Rajasthan: All the three telcos hold the same quantum of the spectrum, i.e., 10 MHz in this circle.
10. Uttar Pradesh East: The circle that is all over the news for the traction of bidding in the 1800MHz band.
Jio and Vodafone Idea hold the same and least quantum of the spectrum, i.e., 10 MHz each in this circle.
The total 1800 MHz band spectrum holding of Airtel is 303.25 MHz, Jio is 221 MHz, and Vodafone Idea is 348 MHz.
Jio holds the least quantum of spectrum in the 1800 MHz Band.
For specific details such as spectrum expiry years, the quantum of the spectrum, and bands circle-wise, please refer to the Spectrum sheet.