Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea submit bids for 5G spectrum auction on June 6

The three major private telecom companies in India – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi) – have submitted their applications for the upcoming spectrum auction, reports Economic Times.

This auction, scheduled to commence on June 6, will offer 5G spectrum valued at Rs. 96,317.65 crore.

Application by Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea

According to officials cited by ET, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has received applications only from these three telecoms within the application deadline.

Notably, no new companies have applied this time around. In the previous auction of 2022, an entity from the Adani group emerged as a surprise bidder.

Spectrum Offered

The spectrum auction will encompass airwaves across various bands including 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz.

As per estimates by Jefferies, Airtel and Vodafone Idea need to renew airwaves valued at around Rs. 4,200 crore and Rs. 1,950 crore, respectively. On the contrary, Reliance Jio doesn’t have any spectrum renewals due this year.

Industry Outlook

Industry experts anticipate a subdued response to the spectrum sale, as the top telcos in India already possess sufficient 5G airwaves. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are likely to engage in selective bidding, primarily to renew airwaves in specific regions.

Airtel needs renewal in J&K, Odisha, Bihar, UP (East), West Bengal, and Assam, while Vodafone Idea requires renewal in West Bengal and UP West.

Operational Details

The DoT allows the surrender of acquired spectrum after a minimum of 10 years. Additionally, bidders are not required to provide financial or performance bank guarantees.

The spectrum acquired through the auction won’t be subject to spectrum usage charges (SUC) in alignment with telecom reforms from September 2021.

Upcoming Timeline

Ownership details of the applicants will be published by DoT on May 10. The deadline for withdrawal of applications is May 17, and the final list of bidders will be declared on May 20.

Successful bidders must deposit the amount within 10 calendar days of receiving the demand notice from DoT. The department will then issue a frequency assignment letter within 30 calendar days from the date of payment receipt.