Apart from Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and a unit of Gautam Adani’s company Adani Enterprises also bid in this auction. According to a Reuters report, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnav told that the companies bought 71 percent of the total 72 GHz spectrum offered in the auction.
A unit of Gautam Adani’s company was also in discussion in the auction. It bought airwaves for around $27 million (about Rs 215 crore). Notably, the company is not planning to offer custom services. Instead, it is aiming to enter the private 5G network space. To help the cash-strapped telecom sector, the government is allowing auction winners to pay the dues in 20 equal annual installments.
Airtel and Vodafone have been under pressure since 2016, when Jio started this price war. Because of this both the companies were seeing losses and also dues of the spectrum allocated earlier. The recent hike in mobile data prices has helped Airtel come back in profit.
Talking about the auction, after Jio, Airtel and Vodafone have bought the most spectrum. These companies got spectrum worth $5.4 billion (about Rs 43,000 crore) and $2.4 billion (about Rs 19,000 crore) respectively. In a press conference, the Telecom Minister said that we understand that the spectrum purchased is enough to cover all the circles of the country. He said India’s 5G coverage will be “very good” in the next three years. Despite all the concerns during the auction, telcos bid aggressively.