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Jio vs Airtel vs VI for spectrum auction on May 20: Centre sets base price at ₹96,317 crore


The Department of Telecommunications on Friday released the date for the auction of eight spectrums of mobile internet, and all major telecom companies are expected to battle it out. The DoT announced that the upcoming auction of spectrum will take place from May 20.

Centre to commence internet spectrum auction from May 20(Priyanka Parashar/ HT File Photo)
Centre to commence internet spectrum auction from May 20(Priyanka Parashar/ HT File Photo)

Government will auction eight spectrum bands for mobile phone services at a base price of 96,317.65 crore. Spectrum which is held by certain companies undergoing insolvency processes as well as frequencies expiring this year will also be put on auction, the Centre said.

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The DoT notice said that eight spectrum bands will be auctioned off by the government for mobile network services. All the available spectrum in 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands will be put on auction, the Union Cabinet announced in February.

A mock auction for the mobile network spectrum will be conducted on May 13 and 14, while the actual sale will commence from May 20. All companies seeking to participate in the auction need to apply by April 22.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur said, “Total 10,523.8 Mhz spectrum will be auctioned. Reserve price will be determined using suitable indexation.” “Existing telecom service providers can continue use of spectrum by paying auction-determined prices during the interim period to prevent disruption in telecom services,” he added.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are expected to participate in the auction to renew their older licenses that will expire in the 4G band in 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz. It is expected that Reliance Jio and Adani Group will also participate in the upcoming spectrum auction.

Muted auction amid 5G anticipation

Industry experts and analysts predict that the upcoming spectrum auction starting from May 20 is expected to see muted participation and bids, said The Economic Times.

The experts said that the top Indian telecom companies don’t want to bid for more spectrums in order to save their airwaves for the upcoming 5G spectrum auction. Reliance Jio is gearing up for the 5G spectrum, and thus, is expected to take a backseat during the upcoming auction.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are expected to be the major bidders in the upcoming auction as they need to renew their airwaves worth around 4200 crore and 1950 crore, respectively. Reliance Jio, meanwhile, is not due for any renewals.



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