Ambani’s Reliance Jio bids Aggressively for India’s $19 Bn 5G Spectrum; Followed by Airtel and Vodafone Idea

5G Network

As India, the second-largest wireless market in the world prepares to bring out better and faster voice and data speeds, telecom operators agreed to pay $19 billion in the government auction for the 5G Spectrum, on Monday(1 Aug’22). This is the most significant amount in the country for any spectrum sale.

For seven days, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea competed against one another for the right to buy 71 per cent of the available spectrum. The government claimed that this performance exceeded its expectations. 

With bids of INR 80,078 crore and INR 43,084 crore, respectively, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel took the top two spots in the auction. Adani Enterprises paid INR 212 crore on a single band, compared to Rs 18,784 crore spent by Vodafone Idea on the spectrum.

According to Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Jio, owned by tycoon Mukesh Ambani, was the most aggressive participant with a spending of $11.13 billion. To be noted that Google and Meta support Jio.

Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm, said, “We have always believed that India will become a leading economic power in the world by adopting the power of breakthrough technologies. This was the vision and conviction that gave birth to Jio. The speed, scale, and societal impact of Jio’s 4G rollout are unmatched anywhere in the world. Now, with a bigger ambition and stronger resolve, Jio is set to lead India’s march into the 5G era.”

“Jio is committed to offering world-class, affordable 5G and 5G-enabled services. We will provide services, platforms, and solutions that will accelerate India’s digital revolution, especially in crucial sectors like Education, Healthcare, Agriculture, Manufacturing, and e-Governance,” he added. 

The business of India’s richest man, Gautam Adani, also participated in the auction for the first time, but it kept its investment to a minimum, spending only $26.8 million. In a statement made last month, the corporation announced that it was taking part in the spectrum auction to offer private network solutions with improved cyber security for “the airport, ports & logistics, power production, transmission, distribution, and various manufacturing processes.”

India anticipates the launch of 5G networks to start in October and expects that by the end of the year, residents in major cities will be able to use the faster internet. Vaishnaw praised the 5G airwaves auction as a triumph for India and stated that the administration is trying to finish the allocation by August 10.

Smartphone manufacturers have been selling 5G-capable devices in India for almost two years in anticipation of the launch. According to research firm Counterpoint, they have sold over 50 million 5G-compatible handsets into the South Asian market, with a fifth arriving in the quarter that concluded in June of this year.

Gopal Vittal, Chief Executive of Bharti Airtel, said, “This spectrum acquisition at the latest auction has been a part of a deliberate strategy to buy the best spectrum assets at a substantially lower relative cost compared to our competition. This will allow us to raise the bar on innovation and address the emerging needs of every discerning customer who demands the best experience in India.”

To develop and test industry 4.0 (technology-focused) applications like machine-to-machine communication, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, businesses can now own or rent a private spectrum.

The government has made the first significant move with this auction toward the rollout of 5G services in India, providing the public with access to extremely fast and low latency mobile internet.

Additionally, it has made it possible for businesses to enter the 5G market via captive networks, which will be inaccessible to the general public.

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