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5G spectrum auction rescheduled for June 25

DoT has postponed the spectrum auction by 19 days to June 25. This is the second rescheduling of the auction after it was pushed from May 20 to June 6.

On June 4, 2024, the department announced the amendment to NIA 2023-24, dated March 8, 2024.

  • The auction catalog for live auction is now pushed to June 24, 2024 (T+108 calendar days), from June 5, 2024 (T+89 calendar days).
  • The start of the live auction date is now pushed to June 25, 2024 (T+109 calendar days), from June 6, 2024 (T+90 calendar days).
  • Additional mock auction shall be held on June 13 and June 14, 2024.

A total of 11 GHz spectrum across 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300, 2500, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz is being auctioned at the total reserve price of Rs 96,317 crore. 600 and 700 MHz bands are not being auctioned.

The auction is expected to be muted. The government may end up collecting just Rs 12,500 crore of the Rs 96,320 crore worth of spectrum being offered, according to IIFL Securities. Bharti Airtel is expected to have a spectrum outlay of Rs 10,400 crore, Reliance Jio Rs 900 crore, and Vi Rs 1,200 crore.

Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vi have collectively paid Rs 4,350 crore as EMD for the upcoming bidding, with RJio having paid Rs 3000 cr, Airtel Rs 1050 crore and Vi Rs 300 crore. This is well below the Rs 14,000 crore, Rs 5,500 crore and Rs 2,200 crore EMD submissions by Jio. Telcos can bid for spectrum worth up to twice their EMD.

Airtel and RJio have an average of about 1,000 MHz of spectrum in each LSA. Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio have 38 and 46 percent, respectively, of spectrum holding. BSNL has 2 percent of the total amount allotted.

As per data collated by Axis Capital, Airtel’s sub-GHz spectrum holdings in 800, 900 MHz bands are significantly lower at 176 MHz compared to Jio’s 445 MHz. Jio’s sub-GHz spectrum holdings are larger than Airtel and Vi as it is the only telco with pan-India 700 MHz airwaves apart from nationwide 800 MHz spectrum. Vi’s sub-GHz spectrum holding (900 MHz band only) is at 141.2 MHz.

CT Bureau

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