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71% of 5G spectrum sold so far, bidding resumes on Saturday

By the end of the fourth day of the 5G auction on Friday, the government received bids for 71% of the spectrum on the block worth about Rs 1,49,855 crore. Continued interest for radiowaves stretched the bidding for the fifth day (Saturday) after the 23rd round of bidding ended on Friday.

It added Rs 232 crore to its kitty on the fourth day of the auction. The reason behind stretching the auction for the entire week is to fight for the 1800 MHz in UP (East). “The Union government has received bids worth Rs 1,49,855 crore for about 71% of the spectrum in four days of the auction,” said telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Industry experts believe the sale is likely to be over by Monday. The previous record of government collection from spectrum auctions was Rs 1.09 lakh crore in 2015. India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio has made a Rs 14,000 crore earnest money deposit (EMD), Bharti Airtel has put in Rs 5,500 crore and debt-laden Vodafone Idea has made Rs 2,200 crore.

Interestingly, cash-rich Gautam Adani-led Adani Data Network put in Rs 100 crore. The EMD indicates the maximum quantity of airwaves a company can bid for in the auction, usually, companies can bid 8-10x of the EMD amount. From a consumer point of view, 5G tech will be 10 times faster than 4G and 30 times faster than 3G, and also it will allow a greater number of devices to be connected to a faster mobile network in a smaller area without any loss of speed. New Indian Express

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